Charleston Day School
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From Our Head of School – Thoughts about Our Athletic Program

November 5

October 16, 2018

Dear Families,

Last Friday, 15 Archdale Street was literally bursting with Scorpion Spirit as the eighth graders faced off against the faculty in the time-honored volleyball match that marks the end of Red Ribbon Week.  I had the privilege of being a member of the faculty team.  To be honest, I had not set foot on a volleyball court since I was in eighth grade and memories of an unflattering pea green one-piece, snap-front gym uniform began flooding back. Several faculty members and I practiced our serves, if only to reassure ourselves that we could get the ball over the net.  Suffice it to say that I am no Gabrielle Reece, but if we are going to ask the students to take risks and move beyond their comfort zone, then I am going to model that behavior and get out there.  It was wonderful to stand with other faculty members as a team and it reminded me of the positive impact of team sports.

I’ve been able to attend a number of the girls’ volleyball games this season and I have been struck by the level of teamwork and support that is evident during those matches.  No matter whether they were celebrating a win or a “best effort,” the girls modeled what being a great team player is about and they had fun.  Watching the girls play encouraged me to get out there on October 12 and give it my best.  

I am a strong supporter of no-cut athletics in middle school because being part of a team is a robust delivery method for so many important skills: grit, resilience, persistence, practice and mastery.  One of the reasons that I was attracted to CDS was because the athletic program focuses on developing these qualities.  Recently, I went back to review the CDS Athletic Philosophy:

At Charleston Day School, sportsmanship, respect for others, teamwork, good attitude, skill development and a passion for sports measure the success of our athletic program. Students in grades 3-6 have multiple athletic opportunities, and their focus is learning the rules of the game, building a team, developing appropriate skills and participating in organized games. Students in grades 7 and 8 are coached to understand the game at a higher level. Winning is not the focus of the overall program. However, preparing and competing to win help teams achieve their goals and they are aligned with the mission of the School: scholarship, integrity, respect and responsibility.

As I watched the volleyball games this season and participated in the faculty-eighth grade volleyball game, I saw all of these core values in action.  I experienced being part of a team, and although I was admittedly one of the “developing” players, I had a great time being out there (and I will practice between now and next year so that you will see improvement for the 2019 game).  I am proud that our athletic program strives to reinforce the mission of the School and that sportsmanship, good attitude and teamwork are the cornerstones of our program.  I look forward to seeing the remaining volleyball games and to the upcoming Scorpion basketball season.  And to watching our students represent what it means to be a Scorpion on the courts and fields.

Many thanks to each of you for all you do to support the mission of the School.



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