Head of School Welcome & Blog
I'm glad you're taking time to get to know our wonderful school. Helios truly is a special place for gifted students. Offering engaging and challenging academics is only part of what we do. With a strong emphasis on the internal life of each child, we weave social and emotional learning throughout each day. We teach children the skills and language of emotions, how to become good friends, and be positive and active members in their community. Not only are Helios students intensely curious and intellectually open, they are exceptional young people.
Helios teachers and staff are passionate about what they do. Supporting children to learn and grow, we get to know each child, learning about their strengths and interests, and what motivates them in the learning process. In addition, Helios is a lovely family-focused community that provides fun activities to help parents connect with one another. Living in Silicon Valley can be challenging due to the fast-paced nature of our lives, especially now, as we also face an isolating global pandemic. Helios fosters connections between families, school and home. We offer community members social and parent-ed opportunities throughout the year, to help parents learn more about giftedness and how to navigate parenting gifted students.
We hope you will spend time exploring our website to learn more about Helios. Why don't you schedule a meeting with our Advancement Director Noa Mendelevitch? In order to fully understand our school, I recommend a tour (virtual or in-person) so you can get a feel of the place. Helios is a special, special school. Come and see for yourself!
Head of School
Adults: remember back, if you will to 09/11/01
We had spent the day looking at those awful images of the planes hitting the towers – over and over again. I gave this talk to my school at 8:30 am the next morning; we had invited parents as well.
The Mourning After
Good Morning. I am comforted to be back at school, and I hope that for you students that an evening with your parents was a good thing. Welcome and many thanks to parents for joining us today for this assembly—if ever there was a day to pull together for the benefit of the children we share, this is it. I know most of you spent the evening (as I did) watching TV news and talking to family and friends. I want to reassure all students that homework is never as important as talking with your families. We would never penalize those students who spent their time trying to understand these awful tragedies -- a task imposed upon us by a force we can’t yet identify.
Like many of you, I didn’t want to believe what was happening yesterday—perhaps like you, those hijacked planes began to look like toys driven into the sides of our tall buildings, and perhaps like you, I am jolted by the sight of those New York towers which today look more like tall fences than tall buildings, and perhaps like you, the terror of yesterday will harden into anger…an anger that one day must yield to knowledge and understanding – we’ll get there some day.
Now begins the grisly task of sorting through the rubble of all of yesterday’s tragedies in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania… of accounting for those who have died and trying to save those who have survived…of cleaning up and trying to figure out just what and why those hijackings and crashes took place.
We will continue to pray for those in grief, for those in fear, and for those on the scene who are working to rescue survivors, to put out fires, to find bodies, and eventually, to clean up. I urge you to resist rage and to eschew hate; nothing good ever came from rage, and hate never leads to peace.
It is the beacon of justice, not the fire of hate, that illuminates the way to peace.
I know we feel helpless, but we can do some things—we can give blood and money, and we can try to learn from this awful event – to learn why these tragedies happened, and to learn about our own reactions to things we cannot control or even understand. Please stay calm and read and talk. Look for hope and pray for all who suffer. Please avoid hate, avoid speculation, and avoid jumping to seemingly easy conclusions. There will be no easy conclusion to these events.
One of my heroes is Mohandas Ghandi—I was reading him last night and want to read you one of his beliefs:
“Non-violence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man.”
I don’t think any of us (let alone Ghandi) could have predicted an airplane full of innocent travelers used as a weapon of destruction, but I’ll take comfort in knowing that Ghandi would have stood firm — non-violence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind.
Please work and pray for peace. Good Morning.