VMS Community Blog

Posted January 12, 2018
by Julie Schlossinger, Lower School Director

Can you recall the projects you completed as a child in your school? Perhaps you made an instrument for music class, or a diorama for English class, or composed an oral presentation about a U.S....

Posted December 20, 2017
by Kristen Kenly, VMS Student Support Services

"How can I support my child academically?" It’s one of the most common refrains that I hear in the hallway when speaking to parents and in my own mind thinking about my own children. I have...
Posted December 4, 2017
by Julie Schlossinger, Lower School Director

There is a wonderful presentation I recently viewed and shared with the lower school teachers by Dr. Stuart Ablon, the Director of Think:Kids in the Department of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General...
Posted November 7, 2017
by Maggie Pavlik, Upper School Director


Town Meeting is the one designated time in our busy schedule that the whole Upper School gathers. They take place every “F” day, and though there is a utilitarian purpose to sitting together, I...
Posted November 7, 2017
by Kabe ErkenBrack, Middle School Director

This is the second in a series of video blog posts about topics that relate to the middle school experience. The hope is to spur dialogue, so if you have comments or questions about this post or ideas for...
Posted October 16, 2017
by Julie Schlossinger, Lower School Director

As a school administrator, it’s easy to spend entire school days sequestered in front of a computer or in meetings. However, best practice dictates that I should get out of the office each and every day...
Posted October 12, 2017
by Julie Schlossinger, Lower School Director

As I sit here at my desk, on the last day of Lower School Parent/Teacher Conferences, I am mindful of the need to reflect on the closing of the first quarter of the new school year. And while I cannot...
Posted October 3, 2017
by Julie Schlossinger, Lower School Director

When should students start participating in household chores? A lower school parent recently asked of me this, and I always respond by referencing Jim Fay, founder of the Love and Logic philosophy, which...
Posted September 26, 2017
by Kabe ErkenBrack, Middle School Director

This is the first in a series of video blog posts about topics that relate to the middle school experience. The hope is to spur dialogue, so if you have comments or questions about this post or ideas...
Posted September 25, 2017
by Julie Schlossinger, Lower School Director

At Back to School Night, Head of School, Mike Imperi shared a bit about the partnership between VMS and local nonprofit, UB.U, to implement a K-12 mindfulness program. UB.U’s mission is to “address...
Posted September 14, 2017
by Julie Schlossinger, Lower School Director

As an educator, it is vitally important to stay current on the science of teaching and learning. It is our job to know not only what works, but also why, and to put these strategies into practice each...
Posted on August 28, 2017
by Maggie Pavlik, Upper School Director

In late March, Kim Zimmer told me about the Wonder Woman Conference, hosted by Leadership and Design in Palo Alto, CA this summer. With Kim’s signature enthusiasm, she listed the conference’s merits and...
Posted on May 5, 2015
by Julie Schlossinger, Lower School Director

I remember clearly the moment I made my first deep connection with a young child. Actually I was still a child myself, or rather an adolescent. Like many teenage girls I spent many an hour babysitting...
Posted on December 15, 2014
by Julie Schlossinger, Lower School Director

In 2007, The New York Times published an article titled, “The Case for the $300,000 Kindergarten Teacher.” Raj Chetty, a Harvard economist, and his colleague, Harvard professor of public policy...
Posted on December 15, 2014
by Julie Schlossinger, Lower School Director

In my last blog post, I shared findings from John Hattie’s research, which synthesized over 800 meta-analyses pertaining to what programs, methods, or educational choices have the greatest impact...
Posted on December 2, 2014
by Julie Schlossinger, Lower School Director

I recently devoured a book the Times called, Teaching’s Holy Grail. Visible Learning: A Synthesis of Over 800 Meta-Analyses Relating to Achievement was written by John Hattie. The...
Posted on October 24, 2013
by Travis Aldrich, Upper School Director

As the Upper School Director, I have the opportunity to see VMS through a unique lens. No two days are the same, and I am sure that if I had my own reality TV crew following me around, we could tell some...
Posted May 11, 2014
by Julie Schlossinger, Lower School Director

In a recent hallway conversation pertaining to mobile devices with a fifth grade student, I was called a name. A digital immigrant is what he called me. My immediate response was disbelief. I argued...
Posted on September 13, 2013
by Julie Schlossinger, Lower School Director

The word differentiation is the most popular educational term searched on Google in the last five years. Wikipedia defines differentiation as “a framework or philosophy for effective teaching that...
Posted on March 13, 2014
by Julie Schlossinger, Lower School Director

Independent schools are just that–independent. We have the freedom to direct and develop our own curriculum, and because of our small class sizes and tight-knit community, also the ability to...
Posted on January 15, 2014
by Julie Schlossinger, Lower School Director

Parent engagement is among the most influential factors in elementary education, whether it’s reading with your child at home or maintaining a healthy dialogue with teachers and the...
When I think about motivation, one of my favorite videos on the subject, a whiteboard talk by Daniel Pink, comes to mind. In the talk, Pink suggests that money is not an effective motivator for all tasks, especially tasks that require critical thinking. Instead, Pink suggests that people are...