Message from Our Interim Dean

Measuring the Year

At the opening faculty meeting of the 2017-2018 school year, as colleagues filed into the Tabas Auditorium for the first time since summer vacation, the penetrating sounds of Seasons of Love, the classic anthem from Rent, filled the airwaves.  [It’s not lost on me that this was the same song that students from Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida performed to a standing ovation—and hardly a dry eye—at the Tony Awards.]  With a blank slate for the year ahead, together we contemplated what the next nine months would bring.

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
Five hundred twenty-five thousand moments so dear
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure, measure a year?

It’s a good question.  How do you measure a 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.  

In addition to the many magical moments that occur each day when brilliant teachers guide and nurture wonderful children, this was a year in which:
Two major social movements—#MeToo and #NeverAgain—were birthed;
Young people across the nation rallied to hold grown-ups accountable for keeping them safe;

  • The 88-year-old Dolores Huerta energized our community with stories from her lifetime of change-making leadership and sacrifice;
  • Our own children, from the 3s to the 13/14s, organized and participated in marches for social justice;
  • The 9/10s successfully advocated to change the name of the fall holiday from Columbus Day to Indigenous People’s Day on the College-wide and SFC calendars;
  • The 11/12s organized a Walk for Water to raise awareness about and funds for a school in South Sudan that is stricken by the water crisis;
  • Teachers and children settled into beautifully renovated classrooms and a brand-new science lab on the fourth and seventh floors;
  • We engaged in a robust and inclusive process that resulted in the creation of a strategic plan that will guide our work for the next five years;
  • All faculty members participated in Critical Friends Groups in which, over the course of several meetings, we closely examined student and teacher work;
  • We ushered the incomparable Betsy Blachly, after 42 years of tireless teaching, into retirement.
  • …and SO MUCH MORE.

With summer upon us in just 210 school minutes, I want to thank you all for your many contributions to the Bank Street community. Your efforts—big and small—go a long way in ensuring that the School for Children remains at the forefront of progressive education and that we continue to innovate on behalf of your children. 

Tomorrow afternoon, we will be shining the light on the 40 members of the Bank Street Class of 2018 as they graduate from the School for Children and embark on their journeys into high school.  Heartfelt congratulations to these extraordinary young people and their families for reaching this important milestone. While this time of year is always filled with big emotions, this is especially true for our graduates and other members of the community who will be departing for other adventures.  To all of you, we extend you our deepest well wishes and an open invitation for a visit or a hug.  Bank Street will always be your home.

May the summer of 2018 be one of joy, peace, and restoration, and as we put our heads on our pillows tonight and make the trek to school one last time tomorrow:

Let’s celebrate

Remember a year in the life of friends

All best, always—