Quarterly Message from Head of School: May 2023

Quarterly Message from Head of School: May 2023

Dear SCH Families,

Closing out the final weeks of the school year and turning our heads toward the summer, I am pleased to share with you another update. As I write this report, I am feeling mighty good about the spritely spring we’ve had. From the inspired lessons and learning I have seen schoolwide, to Blue & Gold and Blue & Blue Day, to the campuswide arts and concert series, to the “For the Love of PHILAnthropy” fundraiser, to Alumni Weekend, to the prom and Middle School dance, to the strong showings of our Blue Devils, I am just plain old smitten. 

The goal of my quarterly updates is to provide curricular, strategic, and community highlights across the school, as well as thoughts on any number of topics. While the updates are not meant to be all-encompassing, I hope they will provide insight into life at SCH. My attention this school year has been (1) getting to know the community, (2) advancing the current roadmap for the school, and (3) assessing new strategies that will move the school forward. I will use the first two priorities to frame this update, although you will note the priorities are not mutually exclusive. You will hear about the third priority this summer.

Please refer HERE for my full message and highlights of our strategic roadmap.

I once read a piece in Harvard Business Review about leading with purpose and humanity. The article by Hubert Joly was published in the wake of the pandemic and spoke all too familiarly to that moment when many across the globe became fluent in the language of vulnerability, uncertainty, concern, and anxiety. The world observed and experienced plummeting levels of hope, at all altitudes of society, from institutions to individuals. Time, hard work, and a strong sense of community have buoyed us through and provided moments of delight. I saw this firsthand during our spring festivities at SCH.

Alumni Weekend was a fantastic celebration (see selection of photos from the weekend and class photos), and we were thrilled to welcome over 650 alumni back on campus to reconnect and reminisce. Hearing about the journeys of our distinguished alumni who received awards was so inspiring! (Read story here.) These highlights are a testament to the relationships forged here and a tremendous affirmation of a Springside School, Chestnut Hill Academy, and SCH education. 

Blue & Blue and Blue & Gold Day fired on all cylinders. In the weeks leading up to this time-honored tradition, I could sense how amped students were. From our youngest learners to our seniors, everyone knew the time, date, and place. Outfits were being decided, themes were selected, and strategies were planned. 

Hosting advisories, scooting around campus, and visiting classrooms and playing fields, I experienced the excitement before a big math competition or a moment on stage. There is so much that contributes to an SCH education. All of the experiences I've had the pleasure of witnessing this past year brought to mind a book I cracked open a few months back, Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die. In it, authors Chip and Dan Heath explore why some ideas thrive while others die, investigate how to increase the staying power of worthy ideas, and dissect the elements of enduring ideas through stories of success and failure across a variety of contexts. Through their research, they identify six principles that can make an idea especially sticky: simplicity, unexpectedness, concreteness, credibility, emotions, and stories.

In a word, an SCH education is, well, sticky. It stands the test of time and adheres so strongly to our collective sense of identity. Our individual stories have guts and connective tissue that binds and humanizes our community.

I hope you have found these quarterly updates informative. I’ll see many of you at graduation and Moving Up ceremonies. Until then (or my next update), let’s finish the year up strong and enjoy the sun of summer.

With warm regards,

Delvin M. Dinkins, Ed.D.
Head of School

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