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Bullis SchoolK-12 Private Co-Ed College Preparatory Day School

Bullis Community Update: September 3, 2023

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Bullis Community Update: September 3, 2023

Dear Bullis Families,

Bullis Head of School, Christian Sullivan

While the traditional end of summer is upon us, apparently the weather is not paying attention; it is forecast to be a high of 101 in Potomac on Tuesday. Our great preference is to have the students outside playing as much as possible, but we will need to assess the heat next week, especially with regard to athletics. I remember last year we had torrential rain on the first morning, and the year before that we had to have a delayed start for a tornado watch. Whatever the climate throws at us, we are excited to open school and welcome students and families.

Cellphones

As you have heard from me and the division directors, the new cellphone policy will be enforced from 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday. While I know personally that it will be an adjustment for students and adults (I put myself under these strictures last year in school), I wholeheartedly believe it is the right thing to do. I ask for your full support and will be asking for the students’ understanding, support, and compliance. Phones should not be in sight at all, other than for those US students who wish to check their phones at lunchtime when not in the dining room. I have directed faculty to immediately collect phones that are visible and deliver them to the divisional office where they can be collected at the end of the day. Please reiterate the policy to your student(s).

1930 Grille

While the students may not consider this new cellphone policy to be the most joyful message to receive at the beginning of the school year, I hope they will appreciate the re-opening of the 1930 Grille in the Discovery Center for the first time since 2020. Breakfast sandwiches, bagels, and an assortment of baked goods, treats, and beverages will be available. It will be open on weekdays from 7:00-7:55 a.m. and 3:00-4:00 p.m. It will be cashless–only credit cards and digital payments will be accepted for an efficient and convenient experience. Students will not be able to use their student accounts to purchase items at the Grille. Oh, the irony that cellphones (Apple Pay, etc.) can be used to pay at the Grille! (The policy is strictly in force between 8:00 am and the end of school, and so does allow for this Grille usage.) We are re-opening the Grille for the benefit of the community; financially, it is a break-even enterprise at best!

Communication

I want to take this opportunity at the beginning of the year to help parents understand where they should go for help answering questions or if there are concerns. In the first instance, I hope that parents will work with the relevant teacher. For more expansive issues, advisors, department chairs, or grade level deans (Upper School) and assistant directors (Lower and Middle School) can be very helpful. Beyond this, the division directors are available. The counselors and learning support specialists in each division are terrific resources, and our new Associate Head for Teaching and Learning, Dr. Tanya Salewski, can help with broad questions of policy and philosophy.

I hope this is helpful–we really want to work with parents, and it is important to know what expertise the school has available. I believe Bullis is highly unusual in its strategic goal of prioritizing intellectual life while not setting arbitrary and counter-productive academic hurdles; we are proactively encouraging and fostering a joyful, healthy community. This is not an easy line to walk, and we need parents’ partnership–communication is a key element of this. Please do reach out to the individuals I have mentioned above; they stand ready to help.

Dining Hall

And finally, I am thrilled that the completely renovated and expanded dining room will be open on Tuesday. I am very grateful to Meredith Wade, Livia Christensen, Mikel Blair, and Bob Butland for their work in the spring and summer that has ensured that not only will we open on time, but also that it is an extraordinary enhancement to the campus. I’m excited for you to see it soon.

I hope you and your family have a great 2023-2024 school year, and I look forward to seeing you bright and early on Tuesday morning.

Warmly,

christian sullivan signature

Christian G. Sullivan
Head of School