After Dr. Roger Fuller’s resignation, Mr. Gary Weisserman, Head of School, chose Dr. Kimberly Schwartz to serve as Interim Upper School Principal. On February 4th, Weisserman announced that Schwartz’s position would become permanent. As Milken’s new official principal, she is excited to offer her new perspective to the administrative team and intends to improve school-wide issues.
Schwartz feels that the transition from first to second semester was very smooth. The eight week learning period provided her and Fuller enough time to discuss everything from student leadership to morning carpool.
“Things that I am looking to impact immediately are areas where students and faculty have already been spending a lot of time talking and thinking about,” Schwartz said.
Upon becoming principal, Schwartz created small committees of faculty members to address school-wide issues including the curriculum, professional development, and campus care. This system allows for more issues to be covered at once and also allows faculty meetings to be used more efficiently.
“I think it is really important that faculty meetings are about teaching and learning, not about business,” Schwartz said.
She also wishes to address the matters surrounding Milken’s student leadership boards, specifically the roles of Student Government and the Community Senate. Wanting to be more than just “party planners,” Student Government has been encouraged to re-write their constitution, and to re-evaluate the roles of each member for next year. This will bring “more meaningful leadership in the school,” according to Schwartz.
“Another area I am thinking a lot about, personally, is how to rethink our best practices for how we communicate about student learning,” Schwartz said.
The new principal is also planning to look over the effectiveness of sending out teacher notes and quarterly grades while simultaneously having a live grade book on myMilken. Possible revisions include using the teacher note as a student narrative as opposed to a student grade update.
Additionally, Schwartz is re-evaluating some of the core non-academic programs, such as FCD Week and grade-wide Shabbatonim.
“We want to make sure that we have meaningful communication with students about their learning,” Schwartz said.