Head's Blog: The First Day of School!

It’s the first day of School in our 98th year at North Shore Country Day!
Countless hours of preparation over the summer by faculty, staff, administrators, parents and trustees have ensured we are ready for the students and parents to arrive and the learning to begin. We have been eagerly awaiting this day, for an empty school building somehow feels hollow without the chatter, energy and laughter the students provide in abundance. I can hear it from my office as I type, and it makes me smile.

As I’ve wandered from division to division over these past two days, I’ve been impressed and proud of the messages I’ve heard our students discussing JK-12: Be true to yourselves, work hard, take care of each other, be kind. Before the textbooks have been cracked or the pencil cases opened, these messages about how we “do school” at North Shore are already front and center and being reinforced across the School. This learning, this human curriculum, is just as much a part of the North Shore experience as the academic one. It signals we want to help shape great people as well as great minds.

This morning, the 8th graders were charged with being role models for the younger students in Middle School. The Upper Schoolers were urged to listen for understanding and reach out to those who are new to the School. The Lower Schoolers were asked to be kind and caring to each other. These messages are crucial and they are not just assumed; we consciously and intentionally work to build a caring community here, where “Live and Serve” is a way of being and not just a motto.

Classes have begun, and formulas and thesis statements, harmonies and conjugations already fill the air. We are proud to offer our students an excellent education and to push them—and ourselves—to grow continually. You will see our “roadmap” for growth in the Strategic Plan document that you will receive with the next Acorn magazine in a few weeks. It lays out a series of tasks and signals our institutional priorities for the next few years to ensure we are striving to be the best we can be as a School.

Many miles lie ahead, but the ship has launched, the crew is ready and bright horizons await
our JK-12 passengers. May we find calm seas on our journey together. Welcome to the first day of School!

A Blog by Head of School Tom Flemma
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North Shore Country Day School is a junior kindergarten through 12th grade, college-preparatory school founded in Winnetka, Illinois in 1919.  With rigorous academic pursuit as the cornerstone, North Shore provides many opportunities for all students to excel – in the classroom and the laboratory, on the stage and the playing field, in their communities and beyond.