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First, a thank-you

I just wanted to express my appreciation for all the energy and good feeling around last weekend’s installation, “Igniting a Second Century.” This ended up being a wonderful celebration of the Harley community and tremendous fun. I’d love to reach out and personally thank each and every person who joined us (or wished to), but I’m afraid I would inevitably miss someone. I hope it will suffice to say thank you here—and on to a spectacular second century!









Bubble Wrap Academy

At the Institute for New Heads this summer, many of the presentations involved some elements of cautionary tales about lawsuits borne of students getting injured: the monkey bars were too this or that, these policies were too loosey-goosey, etc. It became a bit of a running joke, to the point that my cohort group wrote a modest proposal in which we would band together to form a new school, Bubble Wrap Academy. Imagine the hushed voice-over:

At Bubble Wrap Academy, risk mitigation is our highest educational priority. Not only do we not allow horseplay or running in the halls, we don’t allow any movement whatsoever. When students enter the school, they are literally bubble-wrapped, head to toe, and then laid gently on the floor in a darkened room. Rather than go from class to class—just imagine the dangers of the hallways—teachers will come to them, whispering their lessons in the ears of the students. One blink for “I Got It!”, two for “Can You Go Over That Again?”

Obviously, there is a level at which “mitigating risk” is completely reasonable. We don’t want students getting needlessly hurt or attempting things for which they’re patently unready. However, we learn best through experience, and we experience best by trying new things—and that means taking risks.

To this end, we’ve gone straight to our thoughtful faculty and asked three of them to talk about the ways they encourage risk-taking, how they facilitate it, and what it means for students. I hope you will take the time to listen to each of their podcast segments. In the meantime, enjoy this teaser to whet your appetite.

How does risk-taking show up at Harley?


Check out our three-part podcast series.




Dining for Horizons

Would you like to join me for dinner? My family is one of the hosts for Dining for Horizons, a moveable feast to support summer learning at Horizons at Harley on Saturday, October 20. The event begins with a cocktail party hosted by Sonya Allen Interiors in Pittsford from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. followed by dinner at homes across Rochester. I hope you can join us!
For more information visit

Boy, it has been an absolute whirlwind of a first month, from parent nights to creek walks to last weekend’s pomp and circumstance. Amazing how much happens at our little school…and there’s so much yet to come.

See you soon!