our philosophy

What is a teacher-led school?

Our school operates by representative leadership and consensus. All staff are participants in our decision-making process and our Leadership Team synthesizes and implements these decisions.

decision making through consensus

how does consensus work?

Consensus is the process by which our staff makes group decisions. The process involves graduated voting whereby members can voice concerns. If even one member of our staff feels uncomfortable about that idea, we work together to figure out a solution.

dictionary

the a-z of teacher led

Administrative Director

Takes care of communications, financial responsibilities, human resources, every day running of the school, admissions, on-site support for teachers and students.

administrative facilitator

Front office support, communications support, every day running of the school, on-site support for teachers and students.

board of directors

Our board is responsible for financial oversight and fundraising.

primary director

Oversees curriculum development, admissions, human resources for primary team members, inter-team communication.

elementary director

Oversee curriculum development, admissions, human resources for elementary team members, inter-team communication.

facilitating director

Liaison between staff and Board.

facilitating teacher

Part of the teaching team; supports Lead Teacher in class management and curriculum implementation.

lead teacher

Part of the teaching team; in charge of developing curriculum, inter-team communications, class management, student observations, parent communication.

Leadership Team

Comprised of the Administrative, Elementary, and Primary Directors. In charge of general school oversight, collaborate on sensitive decisions, implementation of staff decisions.

OUR COMMITTEES

Community-building and outreach, such vital elements of a school culture, are often just too much for one person acting as the Director to take on and easily fall through the cracks. With our new leadership model, however, we are spreading the work around and these kinds of tasks can now be taken care of by committees of interested staff members and parents! We welcome parent involvement in our committees and can’t wait to watch our school grow and thrive under the tender care of our community. Reach out to a committee head to get connected to the committees that speak to you!

community committee

Head of Committee: Abbie Foley
abbie.
[email protected]

The Community Committee is focused on building community here in the school, and expanding that out to the greater Santa Fe community. We plan school events and organize community events.

grounds & gardens committee

Head of Committee: Liza M Frolkis liza[email protected]

The Garden Committee works to both maintain and beautify school grounds and develop, grow, and implement our school garden for student participation.

growth committee

Head of Committee: Liza Frolkis
[email protected]

The Growth Committee focuses on marketing and growing our school community.

equity & inclusion committee

Head of Committee: Cecelia Romero Likes cecelia[email protected]

The Equity and Inclusion Committee’s main goal is to ensure that DMS is a safe and open community for all of our students, families, and staff. We will achieve this goal through education, opportunities for change, and always on-going conversation.

FAQ

YOUR QUESTIONS, ANSWERED

No Director? Not exactly.

We no longer have one person holding the position of “Head of School” or “Director,” instead the responsibilities that position usually holds are divided up amongst our staff. The role traditionally held by the Director, is now split between three members of our Leadership Team; Abbie Foley, Frances Serrano, and Liza Frolkis. The Leadership Team has taken on tasks involving admissions, finances, human resources, and curriculum development.

how are decisions made?

The Leadership Team is there to implement decisions made by the entire staff during our consensus-based all-staff meetings. Here big-picture and school-wide decisions are presented and every member of our staff has an opportunity to have their voice heard. Sound tiresome? We’ve actually found the opposite! Since the implementation of consensus-based decision making our meetings have been more productive and even shorter! 

how do the teachers feel?

Our entire teaching team, from returning staff to new hires, are excited about our new model. Where the traditional model with a director can be very supportive, not being involved in decision-making can reduce teachers to little islands out in the educational ocean all by themselves. Our staff is ready to jump in and help to shape their work environment and work in teams to create vibrant learning for their students as well as consistency across classrooms and age-ranges. We have built-in time throughout the day where our teachers can do the work they need to do, without sacrificing time with their students.

what does this mean for students?

In the day-to-day? Not much. Students still have the same hours in the classroom, the same wonderful and enriching specials, the same dedicated teaching teams, and the same inspiring Montessori materials and curriculum. In the grand scheme of things, however, students can expect more interaction with different classes, more community-building activities and events, and more opportunities for involvement for themselves and their families.

Testimonials

From Our Teachers

Our teacher led school allows me to use my skills and talents beyond the classroom.

Abbie Foley

Lower Elementary Lead, Elementary Director

We are ready, willing, and able to take on a new role as a collaborative leadership team.

Frances Serrano

Primary Lead, Primary Director