Messages from Marjo

Head of School Marjo TalbottMarjo Talbott
Head of School

Welcome to a New School Year

I hope all of you have enjoyed the summer months. Mine included fascinating conferences on the West Coast and a lot of family time over the past several weeks.

It is amazing to me that this is my 26th year as Head of School! I so vividly remember arriving for the first day of classes in 1994. The School has, of course, changed but much of its essence is the same: engaged and talented teachers, inquisitive students from Kindergarten through 12th Grade, strong and trusted partnerships with our families, and a lovely campus in the heart of Woodley Park.

I approach the start of school with enthusiasm and look forward to this year’s theme: “Be Present.” We all know that many distractions – from the news to social media – can prevent us from focusing on the present moment. Incorporating some of the lessons from our summer reading, Digital Minimalism, we hope to thoughtfully help our students (and ourselves!) to pay close attention to the tasks at hand and engage actively in our classes and with the school community.

Maret’s campus was very busy this summer with sports and enrichment camps; Horizons of Greater Washington also hosted over 130 public school students for its six-week program. Many of our teachers participated in professional development opportunities, including a very substantive Case Institute workshop looking at ways to refine our math, science, and technology programs for Grades K through 5. On Monday, we will welcome back our Upper School athletes for preseason practices. Meanwhile, new teachers have already participated in a four-day session on Deepening the Discussion About Race. This experience allows faculty to share a common language, set of tools, and greater awareness of how identity and race shape our work to be an equitable and inclusive community.

Working together, the Administrative Team continues to use Strategic Directions as an important framework for developing curriculum and ensuring that Maret remains sustainable, nimble, and relevant. Math teacher Eric Heilman, in his additional capacity as Maret’s Director of Institutional Research, continues his critical work, developing fact-based assessments of our progress, challenges, and accomplishments as we work to provide an excellent educational environment for every student.

I am particularly pleased to announce that the District of Columbia has approved our request to extend Maret’s preferred status for field use permits at Jelleff Recreation Center in Georgetown for an additional nine years, through June of 2029. Maret designed and built the Jelleff field in 2010 and has maintained it ever since. (We also installed the lighting that extends the hours of use and rebuilt the outdoor swimming pool). Maret will oversee the installment of a new artificial turf surface as the current field wears out. This is a true win-win situation, in which Jelleff is an asset not only to Maret but also to hundreds of other users of recreational facilities in the District. Our involvement with Jelleff is thus an extension of our commitment to community engagement and partnerships.

PLEASE take time to read carefully our Traffic Guidelines, which include critically important information about travel to and from school, parking on campus, and respect for our neighbors. It is essential that you follow these guidelines! I will frequently be out on the Circle during the first few weeks of school to help with the flow of vehicles. We strongly encourage widespread adoption of bicycling, walking, and carpooling, as well as use of Metro system's Kids Ride Free program. Keep in mind that Maret provides shuttle bus service to campus each morning from the Woodley Park-Zoo/Adams Morgan Metro station at 7:40 a.m. and 7:50 a.m.

I look forward to welcoming all of our students back on September 3 and seeing you in the weeks ahead at Back-to-School Nights, at potlucks, and in the car line!

Take care,

Marjo Talbott
Head of School