Heads Up

Welcome to Heads Up, a blogging experiment that aims to: 

  • connect the people, parts, and principles of Durham Academy;
  • share ideas about learning and human development;
  • spotlight a few of the many wondrous things I get to see every day at Durham Academy. 

Thanks for reading the posts below — and sending news, links and ideas worth sharing. 

Michael Ulku-SteinerHead of School 


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Risk and resilience

Dear DA Parents and Students,

To spare you the pain of staying up late or waking up early to learn that we will follow our regular schedule on Tuesday, I'll share the news now:

We plan to follow our regular schedule on Tuesday.

I understand why our neighbors in public schools have delayed their openings tomorrow. They have hundreds of buses to start and thousands of children to pick up on cold, dark morning streets.

We too will be cold tomorrow. Given the lack of precipitation in the forecast and the irrepressible hunger for knowledge among our students, however, I think this is the right decision. Besides, the temperature is predicted to rise just two degrees between 7 and 10 AM.

I promise I am not making this decision because I recently moved from Switzerland. And I promise to continue watching for truly dangerous conditions and continue communicating with my peers in area private schools (planning regular schedules tomorrow).

To save energy, we typically lower temperatures in our buildings overnight. Tonight we'll keep the heating systems working full-blast. We'll also remind younger students to wear lots of layers, including hats and gloves, outside. We trust older students are more skilled with choices, consequences, hats, and gloves.

Thanks to all of you for your resilience in the face of some bone-chilling weather.


PS. The email below, sent this evening from an Upper Schooler, reinforces the importance of persisting with our educational efforts, even in harsh conditions. Clearly, DA is educating compassionate, articulate, community-minded young citizens. Nothing should stop us in that endeavor.


Good Evening Mr. Ulku-Steiner,

I am deeply concerned about the health and safety of peers. Further, I am worried about the delicate and vulnerable freshmen (in particular my brother; he's fragile). I believe it would be a safe decision to delay or even cancel school tomorrow as already done by many public schools. My concerns also extend to the faculty, specifically you. Once again my concerns are the safety and well-being of the DA community.

Thank you,
A student


Photo credit: firebox.com

Posted by in Lower School, Middle School, Upper School on Monday January, 6, 2014


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