When our new middle school campus at 601 Dolores is open and construction has been completed, one of the most exciting spaces the students will inhabit is the Innovation Lab (iLab). Housed on the second floor, the iLab will provide students with opportunities for hands-on, experiential learning and tinkering. In a creative and collaborative workspace, the iLab will model the connections between the interdisciplinary subjects of science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM).
We are learning more and more about how the human brain works. In the past few weeks, I have read several articles, including this one in The New York Times from April 23, Playing for All Kinds of Possibilities, about the remarkable value of unstructured play.
Please be sure to read this wonderful article posted on the GOOD web site. Written by CDS parent Allison Arieff, the piece describes how elementary students here at Children’s Day School are stepping outside the classroom and exploring the local neighborhoods, and in doing so, are becoming "neighborhood detectives.”
On Friday, March 22, our preschool parent education meeting focused on the transition from preschool to kindergarten. Kindergarten teachers Luisa Pinto and Nicole Schoentag talked about how they use mindfulness techniques with the kindergarteners to improve focus.
In 7th grade, the students are working on expository essay writing with a concentration on developing a thesis (or argument) using other elements of our curriculum and events in the world as they unfold. Below is an excellent example of an essay written by seventh grader Aisha Glenn on the concept of "power" as displayed through cyber attacks originating in China!
Control: The Driving Force
By Aisha, CDS 7th Grader
Fourth Grade Head Teacher Moriah Grey and 7th/8th Grade Humanities Teacher Terry Ashkinos have both been selected to participate in fellowship programs sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Moriah Grey will participate in “Empires of the Wind: Exploration of the United States Pacific West Coast,” a five-day teacher workshop supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshop program.
The Herbst Foundation has announced that Melanie Liu, Children's Day School 5th and 6th Grade Humanities Teacher, has been named as the recipient of the 2013 Herbst Award for Teaching Excellence. The award recognizes teachers of grades 6, 7 and 8 at schools in San Francisco. Melanie will receive a $5,000 grant from the foundation and CDS will also receive $5,000.
At Children's Day School we incubate more than chicks. We develop innovative curricula and programs designed to inspire students, connect the community and help our students, teachers and parents grow. Our faculty shares their expertise in a number of ways, including presentations to our internal community and to the external community. On March 11, 2013, fifty-one CDS teachers and staff attended the CAIS Northern California professional development day along with 2,000 teachers and administrators from 100 Bay Area schools.
CDS third grade teacher Carli Lowe has received the POCIS (People of Color in Independent Schools) 2013 Teacher Tribute Award for her work in racial justice in an independent school. We are proud of the work that our teachers do and extremely pleased that CDS has won this award two years in a row. The 2012 winner was Melanie Liu, a CDS middle school humanities teacher.
Days before the community dispersed for the winter holidays, CDS was contacted by a documentary producer, Diana Fuller, who was interested in our school. Her project, Racing to Zero, spoke to us immediately – a positive take on San Francisco’s goal to become a waste free city by 2020. Diana recognized CDS as part of the solution with our curriculum focused on sustainability, gardening and farming.