A Message from Lauren El-Mofty, Stephanie Bloom, Karen Leavitt and Abby Aloni
  • Academics
Division Heads
Dear Bernard Zell Families,

On Monday, January 3, our entire faculty will be participating in a day of professional learning to ensure continued educational excellence as we welcome in 2022.
Teacher professional development is an important component of how we support our educators as they continue to strengthen their practice throughout their careers. Research tells us that the most effective professional development engages teams of teachers to concentrate on the needs of their students and provides more opportunities to learn and problem solve together in order to ensure all students achieve success.
Our work will be focused on Responsive Classroom practices. Responsive Classroom is an approach to teaching based on the belief that integrating academic and social-emotional skills creates an environment in which students can do their best learning. The Responsive Classroom approach consists of a set of practices and strategies that build academic and social-emotional competencies. These include cooperation, assertiveness, responsibility, empathy, self-control, academic mindset, perseverance, learning strategies and academic behaviors.
Our weekly Wednesday professional development has helped us work with teachers to identify trends across grade levels, particularly in a COVID environment. Some of these trends include a need for greater support of collaboration among students, following routines, transitioning and overall social-emotional and executive functioning support. Our professional development on January 3 will help us solidify our response to student needs and launch an important path forward to maximize emotional support and academic success. On Wednesdays following, we'll continue to support this active learning and application of these practices across each of our divisions.
We look forward to working with our teachers throughout the rest of the year as they continue to utilize these tools, strategies and methods in their classrooms and throughout the school. 
We wish all of you a wonderful Winter Break and a happy New Year! We look forward to welcoming your children back to school on Tuesday, January 4.
With appreciation and gratitude,
Abby Aloni, Head of Early Childhood
Karen Leavitt, Head of Lower School
Stephanie Bloom, Head of Middle School
Lauren El-Mofty, Director of Student Services



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