Each morning, I pull past DCD’s sign and read our school motto: Learning Is a Way of Life. I am delighted to lead a community that is deeply focused on this apt conviction. Welcome to our website and to your own process of learning about DCD.
With over 100 years of curriculum and program, hundreds of children, legendary faculty, generations of committed families and a generative tradition of growth and evolution, DCD’s past and present are rich in stories. But much of the story of the school and its people lies not just in what we accomplish, but how things are accomplished through community and connection.
When I enter Sandy Valley Road, I am filled with gratitude. I feel thankful to lead a community that has been central to the lives of so many generations of children and families; a school with such a rich and varied curriculum for students, one that promotes their emotional health and capacity for accomplishment in many areas; a community so profoundly characterized by kindness and respect; a school with a reverence for the process of educating children and adolescents, and not solely the outcomes; and an environment where learning is a way of life for both children and adults.
With this in mind, I hope you will read these pages with attention to not just what DCD does, but how we do it. How do we help children learn to respect and engage with the diverse perspectives and people around them? How do we help children think critically and deeply, looking for the connections between disciplines and ideas? How do the elements of the program fit together to stretch children to be scientists and poetry readers, athletes and musicians, mathematicians and artists, individuals and community members? How do we provide the scaffolding for ever-increasing levels of independence and choice?
It is through relationships, community, and connection that children find the emotional safety to engage deeply in learning. We develop children’s individual strengths and at the same time give them a greater sense of purpose as they discover their responsibility to the community as a whole, and ultimately the larger world. It is not just children who are engaged in this way at DCD, but also a vibrant community of adults – both parents and teachers – who come together to support children every day.
Allison D. Webster
Head of School