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Deepening Leadership Development

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Deepening Leadership Development

Friday, September 24, 2021

This is a letter from the Head of School, Morgan B. Scoville, M.Ed., written to the 2021-2022 parents on August 26, 2021.

Dear Fay Family,

As the landscape of education evolves to meet the increasingly complex demands and needs of the world around us, Fay innovates for the benefit of your child. The first priority of our Strategic Plan builds on an already powerful framework for leadership development that attracted us all to Fay in the first place.

Fay began to implement pieces of Responsive Classroom, a “high-quality, evidence-based, well-designed classroom program that systematically promotes students’ social and emotional competence, provides opportunities for practice and offers multi-year programming,” as identified by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL). CASEL was co-founded by Dr. Daniel Goleman who literally wrote the book on Emotional Intelligence. Proactively implementing Responsive Classroom prepares your child for a broader and longer-term shift taking place on the landscape of education: "the reimagination of the college admissions process.”

Take a close look at Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Making Caring Common Project. The admissions offices of over 200 colleges and universities (up from 143 in 2019) endorse and are taking steps to place a much higher value on prospective students who authentically demonstrate empathy and community engagement, as outlined in this Deans Commitment Letter. Heightening your child’s emotional intelligence cannot wait until high school, and Fay leads the way in that regard.

Continuing to raise the bar to become the “gold standard,” stated in the first priority of our Strategic Plan, will provide your child with enhanced experiences to actively practice and demonstrate leadership skills throughout the year and in authentic ways. We are pleased to share with you how we are taking additional steps to meet this first strategic priority in a way that benefits your child:

  • Enhance Leadership Development Program with increased empowerment for students: We are delighted to introduce you to Fay’s Project C.A.R.E.S. (Cooperation, Assertiveness, Responsibility, Empathy, and Self-Control), social and emotional competencies rooted in research and from Responsive Classroom. Every 6-weeks, we will conduct a school-wide assembly where a C.A.R.E.S. theme is introduced. At the end of the 6-weeks, during a celebration assembly, one class from each grade level (Kindergarten – Fifth Grade) will lead the entire school through their interpretation and research on the topic. These topics encompass the monthly themes previously explored in years past, except that they bring them to life and put your child at the center of the learning. In addition, this new format allows your children more time for an in-depth analysis of each theme while also giving them several times to feel empowered when your children lead each other.
  • Cutting-edge professional development for faculty: Throughout the year, our Faculty and Staff participate in various evidence-based professional development opportunities, most often funded by our Annual Fund. This coming summer, we are proud to announce that we will send a cohort of Faculty to Yale University, where they will study and learn at the nationally recognized Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence (YCEI). There they will learn more evidence-based techniques to support the systemic implementation of social-emotional learning and foster those skills in all stakeholders in our Fay community, including in families and out-of-school time. To our knowledge, no school in the city of Houston is redefining the gold standard in this manner.

Throughout the year, we will continue to announce and showcase all the ways that Fay continues to innovate and propel forward. All children benefit as The Fay School realizes its dreams of becoming a national leader in early childhood and elementary education, especially by leveraging our leadership development through emotional intelligence and outdoor education programming. We can’t wait to see how your child will grow with us!

Building the future leaders of the world,

Morgan B. Scoville, M.Ed.

This video is an example of Fay's students teaching each other about a social-emotional competency theme, Cooperation!