Designing A Better World

In August 2019, over 2,200 schools will open doors to students in the state of Georgia. A small number of those schools will be brand new. None like this. Mount Vernon Presbyterian School opens the doors to a brand new Upper School (Grades 9-12) building after a year of construction and years of planning, dreaming, and designing. The building is the physical expression of the School’s mission and vision; innovative, flexible, and relational. Everything is on castors. All desks are stackable and nest-able. Writable walls move up and down allowing disciplinary classes to combine and become interdisciplinary or trans-disciplinary. Smart […]

“The Succinct 9”

A Ridiculously Succinct ‘Cliff Notes’ Version of iPlan 17 “Design and Demonstrate” 1. Clarify learning outcomes. Lead students to mastery. 2. Infuse MV Mindsets with learning outcomes. 3. Measure mastery of learning outcomes and mindsets with a balanced assessment system. 4. Design hands-on experiences around student interests and passions. 5. Include interactive technology. 6. Systematically seek and use feedback. 7. Use innovative instructional methods. 8. Engage in ongoing design and implementation of teaching and assessment. 9. Pursue a robust professional learning network and collaborations.  

Why Do We Do All of This?

Dear Middle School Families, As students arrive from the cold, morning carpool carrying backpacks and gift bags filled with thoughtful Christmas treats for teachers and friends, the simultaneous sense of hustle n’ bustle, busyness alongside a feeling of peace, caring, and unusual stillness strikes me. I smile as I try to warm up my hands. I forgot my gloves. The question emerges in my mind, “Why do we do all of this?” At first, the thoughts could be applied to the season. It’s a common reflection at Christmas time. But as the smiling and freezing faces file past me, the […]

Why is Pruning Important?

There is a great DVD by Dr. Henry Cloud called Simplifying the Challenge (white board/red couch). In session 7, Dr. Cloud talks about the importance of pruning as a means for continued growth of any living organism (or organization). He uses the metaphor of a rose bush… There are 3 types of roses to be pruned 1. There are more good buds produced than can be sustained or brought to “full vision.” Even though they are “good” they are not great and a skilled gardener knows which ones with potential for great beauty. The gardener will prune 80% just so […]

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