Welcome to the 2018-2019 school year at The Ellis School. It is such a delight to see our beautiful campus brimming with life now that all our students have returned. Families tell us that one of the main reasons they have chosen Ellis is because they are looking for a school where their children will grow truly vibrant intellects. This is one of my very favorite aspects of our school community.
I have a strong belief that the most interesting and intellectually alive adults are the ones who find real joy in learning. As humans, using our brains is like using our physical muscles—we take delight from feeling them working and gaining the sense of agency, competency, and pleasure as they strengthen. At Ellis, we are building a learning community in which that kind of learning happens for our girls, in which they develop the intellectual muscles to tussle with challenging ideas, feel the joy of mastering them and the genuine sense of delight that ideas are just so darned interesting!
As we start a new year, it is exciting to be reminded about all the ways in which we do this.
It starts, of course, with our faculty, who are themselves such eager learners. Our teachers returned this fall from summers loaded with an inspiring variety of collaborative and personal journeys fueling their own learning. They are full of energy about creating spaces and experiences that challenge and foster intellectual moments of electricity for our students.
Our faculty in each division are experts about what girls at different stages of development need in order to soar intellectually. Our youngest learners come with inherent natural curiosity, and our Lower School program focus on questioning and exploration feeds it beautifully. Our Middle School students are wonderfully nudged and supported as they traverse the normal push-pull of early adolescence—yearning for, but finding appropriately challenging, the journey towards greater independence and agency as learners. Our Upper School girls bring an impressive set of student skills that enable them to more fully own the intellectual forays offered to them, and to tackle deeper dives as researchers and discoverers.
I can’t wait to watch the growth and joy that’s going to unfold in this rich and curious learning community. It’s going to be a great year!