Message from Our Dean
From the moment I began as Dean of Children’s Programs in July 2016, I have been peppered with constant references to the “Bank Street Way.” Given my training as a qualitative researcher, I have employed the numerous methods in my arsenal to uncover the great truth of this elusive notion. I have conducted interviews, convened focus groups, analyzed survey data, engaged in participant observation, and, most important, listened to the children. And from these experiences, I have come to understand that the Bank Street Way means many things.
The Bank Street Way is children at the center of the learning process. At Bank Street, the locus of the meaning making resides with the child. While teachers act as facilitators through careful and deliberate planning and provisioning, children are empowered with voice and choice to pursue their own passions and to discover their own truths.
The Bank Street Way is rich, social studies–themed, interdisciplinary curricula. At Bank Street, curriculum is connected and thematic, with meaningful integration of the arts as essential to all aspects of teaching and learning. At each age and stage, we value depth over breadth, and children develop their skills as critical thinkers, problem solvers, and perspective takers.
The Bank Street Way is a fierce commitment to diversity, equity, and social justice. At Bank Street, we educate children to understand and embrace their own and others’ identities and to live their lives in service of the greater good. Our students are taught to see and confront injustice, to be upstanders (individuals who recognize when something is wrong and act to make it right) rather than bystanders, and to engage difference through curiosity, decency, and respect.
The Bank Street Way is a multigenerational community of learners on a lifelong quest to reflect, grow, and develop. At Bank Street, learning never ends. Uniquely situated as an independent school within the larger Bank Street College of Education, the School for Children serves as a demonstration site for the progressive pedagogies developed and constantly refined in the Graduate School. More than two-thirds of our teachers have earned graduate degrees at Bank Street, and opportunities for intellectual engagement forever abound.
In sum, Bank Street is a special place. I have visited hundreds of schools in my more than two decades as a professional educator, and I can honestly say that the quality of teaching, the depth of reflection, the clarity of purpose, and the knowledge base about children at our school are unparalleled. Each day, I feel truly blessed to be surrounded by hordes of inspiring children, brilliant colleagues, and passionate parents, and I encourage you to look around or come for a visit so that you, too, can experience the transformative impact of the “Bank Street Way.”
Jed Lippard, EdD
Dean of Children’s Programs
Head of the School for Children
Select Communications from the Dean
New Hopes, New OpportunitiesOne of the greatest benefits of working in education is that each fall brings with it new hopes, new opportunities, new friendships, and new ideas. We are fortunate in that summer not only provides a real break from the familiar routines of the school year but also serves as an occasion to reflect deeply and plan intently for the year ahead. Having had time to do just these things over the past couple of months, we are thrilled to begin the school year.
Indigenous Peoples' Day“Once again this year, on Monday, October 8, the second Monday in October, Bank Street College, including the School for Children, is closed for business. For the first time in our history, however, all Bank Street calendars mark this holiday as “Indigenous Peoples Day” rather than the federally-recognized “Columbus Day” (stemming back to a Knights of Columbus-mobilized FDR proclamation in 1934). … This is a Bank Street story.”
Measuring the Year“At Bank Street, we understand that development doesn’t occur in neatly packaged time periods, that learning is not linear, and that the WHY matters far more than the HOW MANY. At the same time, as we pause to reflect on all that has transpired since September, by any measure, it’s clear that we have accomplished a ton.”
Students' Right to Learn without FearIn the aftermath of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, Head of School Jed Lippard wrote to our families: “As educators, we believe that every child has the right to learn in an environment free from fear and the threat of violence.”
A Day in This Life“I feel blessed to pursue my work and to hone my craft in an environment filled with such profound learning, laughter, and love. While many of my friends and family members are on a perpetual quest to find meaning outside the immediate context of their work, we, as educators, need only awaken our senses.”
First Impressions“At Bank Street, a deep knowledge of children, their development, and their intricacies underscores all that we do… What matters most is not arbitrary markers (and incentives) such as class ranks, test scores, and grades but authentic, student-centered, and sustained learning over time”