Head of School's Corner - May 2018

Dear Gulliver Community,

As we head into the homestretch of an incredibly productive and successful year, a few different strands of the work we have done this year have come together in my mind. As I noted in the final Parents' Association meetings, this is the time of year when we are seeing and celebrating both the culmination of the work begun by students and faculty at the start of the year, and thinking about what we plan to do next year. This is apparent in the exploits of our students, who are achieving unprecedented success in external competitions, while more internally they are demonstrating amazing insight, skill and success in concerts, plays, art shows, and other school events.

It is also a time when the work we have done professionally begins to pay off and set us up for the new work and programming we plan to initiate and implement next year. One of the most important areas of our efforts has been in the curriculum mapping review we completed this year. As I have also noted throughout the year, this comprehensive review and cataloguing of all that we offer to students from year to year and across each grade level, allows us to continue robust review discussions of our program. Heidi Hayes Jacobs, our amazing consultant for this process, in her review of our work, noted that the many opportunities we have for students to perform are perhaps the best, most important kind of assessment possible.

With "performance reviews," such as drama shows, musical concerts, recitals, business pitches, speaking at conferences, debate, art shows, and even competing in athletic contests, students are required to be masters of their material in real time, essentially without a safety net, and limited to no coaching as it happens. While this can be a bit daunting, it also provides a great forum for students to test themselves, and to gain new skills, grace under pressure, and the ability to face a great variety of new situations with confidence. In this issue you will see a number of such events chronicled, including community involvement such as the Jr.K farmers' market and the 5K to support Special Olympics; music and dance national titles; and a number of our athletes signing to play at "the next level" at some of the finest colleges and universities in the country. Gulliver students are passing these "performance reviews" with flying colors!

I look forward to seeing many of you as our students continue to thrive in more of these opportunities through the end of school!

Frank Steel
Head of School