Jane Banse and Erica DeaneProject Based Learning in Fifth Grade Science
Erica Deane and Janie Banse explored the best practices surrounding project based learning (PBL). They studied how to develop essential questions, create a sense of urgency in student learning, provide a safe environment for authentic student inquiry, assess appropriately, and integrate outside experts. They examined the intersection between student led inquiry and learning specific skills and content. Using this study, they then designed a 5th grade PBL curriculum that teaches the existing 5th grade science content by answering the essential questions: What does a habitat that supports pollinators look like? The teachers will continue to collaborate on this project in the science classroom, the library, and with field trips to a native plants focused farm throughout the year.
Highland Night School
Cathy Campbell’s faculty fellowship involves creating a program, “Highland Night School,” to be implemented during the 2016-2017 school year. Modeled on a similar program run by Park School in Baltimore, Highland Night School invites parents and their guests to sign up for a one –session, 90 minute “class” delivered by a Highland faculty member in an area of interest. Sessions for this first year could include a book group discussion of The Great Gatsby, a Philosophy seminar, a hands-on Physics class, and a presentation on parenting. Class size and price will the set by the teacher, and s/he will receive compensation based on number of participants. Highland Night School is designed to showcase faculty talent, further Highland as a cultural center in the community, and encourage lifetime learning generally.
Highland School Winter Break Trip 2017: From Madrid to the Andalusian Region, Spain 11-12 Days of Cultural Interchange
Angeline Cancio-Bello planned a customized student trip to the Spain Andalusian region. Family homestay and school visits will play an integral part in this travel abroad experience. This designed trip supports Highland’s World Languages Department mission to foster multilingualism and global awareness necessary to compete in today’s world. In addition to this, provides a venue to support our Global Studies Program. This cultural immersion trip includes a diverse program, which incorporates history, art, music, nature, and culinary activities that Spain offers. This journey is designed for a maximum of 15-20 students and is considered our first step toward fulfilling one of our World Languages Strategic Priorities: “Introduce exchange programs on a regular schedule.” For the past five years we have received students from Sevilla, Spain, who have enriched our community in different ways; this trip is our student’s opportunity to immerse in their culture and show who he/she is–in other words, who we are!
New Student Survey
The goal of this fellowship is to create a new student survey which is informative, useful, relevant, and accurate for the teachers and the Highland administration. A few general demographic (grade level, sex, and extracurricular activities) questions will be added so that responses can sorted by categories, if applicable. Each question is designed to be pertinent, clear, single issue, and bias free. Quantitative data will also be collected on student interest, participation, and work habits in the class. Comment sections will be included with most questions. The survey should provide relevant feedback to the teachers, for professional and personal development.
Erica Deane and Scott Pragoff
Middle School Schedule
The Middle School schedule is getting an upgrade! Over the summer, Scott Pragoff and Erica Deane began the year-long process of researching, creating, and implementing a developmentally appropriate schedule that will maximize instructional time. Finding a schedule that keeps class times proportional due to closings and holidays also presents a challenge. They have started to visit and have conversations with other schools across the East Coast and have surveyed faculty needs. As they comb through the data and research, they will be asking for student, parent, and faculty input to make sure that the needs of students and faculty are addressed. They will have a new daily schedule ready to launch by the 2017-2018 school year.
Redesigning Sophomore World History courses
The goal of this fellowship is to create the new curriculum for the sophomore World history classes, specifically replacing the year-long World history 2 class with 3 semester-long alternatives, in East Asia Studies , the Economics of Imperialism (South Asia and South America), and Tribalism and Nationalism (Nation-building in Africa and the Middle East). These courses have been designed to promote knowledge about the world, develop student skills in historical thinking, cater to different learning styles and abilities, and maintain student interest. The variation in geographic area of coverage and the historical thinking skill concentration allows these courses to offer choices that should appeal to all students. These courses are built around curricula and lessons developed for college courses in these subject areas, modified to the extent made necessary by developmental concerns. Products of student work, regardless of course chosen, will include peer-to-peer lessons, debates or trials, essays, short answer responses to primary sources and political cartoons, and exams.
Middle School Wellness
The goal of this fellowship is to develop wellness units that incorporate lessons covering thirteen weeks (thirteen lessons) for the seventh and eighth grade, and twenty three weeks (23 lessons) for the fifth and sixth grades. This Fellowship proposal is two-fold: 1) determine when during the course of the year is the best time to incorporate the Too Good for Drugs and Brainology curriculums, and; 2) create Wellness units by determining a list of relevant topics not covered by the other curriculum, researching available wellness/health resources/curriculum, determining which existing curriculum meet Highland students’ needs and Highland’s time allotment, conducting cost/benefit analyses of purchasing curriculum, creating wellness units and timelines, and compiling unit notebooks with addendums and supplements.
Diana Hewitt and Michele Daniel-Shenk
Lower School Curriculum Development
The goal of this fellowship was to develop a cohesive curriculum that will sequence iPad skills, content apps and faculty education in the Lower School. Pulling from the knowledge we gained from the pilot program in Kindergarten a curriculum was developed for all Lower School grade levels. Using the iPad as a teaching tool and the ease of Seesaw, a student driven e portfolio, the curriculum will be implemented during the 2016-2017 school year.
The Highland Formal Laboratory Report
Highland School produces excellent student writers who go on to university prepared to express themselves articulately in many formats. Writing a formal lab report is a critical skill for university students as well, and is an area where the science department would like to strengthen our effort. Students need to be able to document the findings of their laboratory experiments and to communicate effectively in writing the significance of these findings. This Faculty Fellowship has included research of universities’ expectations for undergraduate science writing, and examination of many examples of formal lab report formats in use at a wide variety of preparatory secondary schools, with the goal of designing a formal lab report to be used in Highland’s science classes.
LS Science Organization & Curriculum Development
The goal of this fellowship was to clean and organize the LS Science Lab for scientific tools/materials and FOSS curriculum units. In addition, the fellowship allowed for investigation of areas of opportunities for students to inquire and engage in design projects and share them with an authentic audience. Students will participate in a Wonder Workshop where they will engage in the Launch Cycle. The Launch Cycle is an approach to design thinking that adds to the engineering design process in a student-friendly way. It fosters creative thinking and boosts problem solving skills that students will be able to use throughout their lifetime. The end result is for students to begin to see themselves as makers, innovators, and creators. Andrea McEvoy attended a conference session for Genius Hour/Maker Space/20% Time, attended a webinar on Genius Hour, read, Launch, Using Design Thinking to Boost Creativity and Bring Out the Maker in Every Student, viewed TED talks on Design Thinking, and researched and gathered mentor texts to introduce the engineering process to LS students.
Lee Ann McVane
Accommodations for College Boards and ACTs
The goal of this fellowship included four parts: to obtain College Board accommodations for the rising 10th grade Learning Center students, to connect with the ACT organization to ensure that Highland is a site for ACT special accommodations testing, to assist rising 11th grade Learning Center students with the application process for ACT testing accommodations, and to assist the admissions office with applicants who have a current psychological and /or IEP from a prior school. The Learning Center works with 9th grade families to obtain College Board accommodations prior to the October testing of the PSATs sophomore year. We also encourage our juniors to take the ACTs early in their junior year. This allows time for multiple ACT tests and/or tutoring for ACTs, if needed, and allows for an overall less stressful testing process. With testing for PSATs in October and ACTs beginning in September, the process of obtaining accommodations includes the summer months.
Writing Scope and Sequence
The Vertically Aligned Scope and Sequence in Writing is an interdisciplinary bridge for students to learn and practice writing skills needed for college and beyond. Highland’s humanities program has a strong reputation among alumni and is prominently advertised to prospective employees and students alike. There are some points at which English and History departments intersect, but working together to implement an innovative, engaging scope and sequence that scaffolds multiple effective writing strategies gives teeth to an already successful program.
NHS Chapter Bylaws
The purpose of this fellowship is to clarify the Highland School chapter of the National Honor Society (NHS) chapter bylaws. The Highland School chapter bylaws are consistent with the Constitution of the National Honor Society. Information concerning chapter operating procedures, membership, member obligations, responsibilities of the various project chairs, meetings, and additional ongoing activities are included.
Dave Robertson and Elizabeth Kennedy
The goal of this fellowship is to create a Pre-Engineering Certificate for students in the Upper School interested in preparing themselves to study engineering in college. The framework for the certificate is based on research into the expectations of top engineering programs at various universities, as well as feedback from recent Highland graduates enrolled in such programs. This fellowship establishes guidelines for academic coursework, outlines expectations for extracurricular individual and team engineering activities, and requires that students produce a culminating, or Senior Capstone, project to showcase their skills and highlight a particular area of interest in an engineering field. Students who complete the requirements over their four years at Highland School will earn a certificate at graduation indicating their achievement.