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List of 3 news stories.

  • Remaking Education

    Allison Isbell & Margaret Paul
    Dear Families,
     
    We wanted to share with you the remarks that Allison made at our Admissions Open House earlier this week. The education our students are receiving here at LREI is what colleges are looking for and what we know is important in the world.
     
     
    "Last week I attended a conference titled Remaking Education hosted by Emerson and Olin Colleges--a joint venture between communication experts and highly specialized engineers and scientists. Held in Boston, it drew university presidents, professors, CEOs, engineers, scientists, and a high school principal/math teacher duo from LREI. You may be familiar with those Boston universities . . .
     
    It was intimidating to walk into a space where I was surrounded by so many people who are respected in their fields . . . leading universities, designing college programs, building robots! But very soon it became clear that the work we do at LREI had prepared me well for this experience.
     
    We were tasked with generating ideas that would disrupt typical systems and methods of teaching and learning in order to cultivate the skills and abilities that students need for this complex, global world. Throughout the day, we discussed the age of AI, standardized testing, and digital skills, and how the power of real human connection and purpose-driven collaboration is often overlooked, and that the most meaningful learning experiences that are those that foster collaboration, move students towards purposeful action.
     
    To be honest. I was waiting for something more earth-shattering. Something really hard. Something than an assembled room of engineers, scientists, and college presidents would have to really dig into in order to move forward. But I discovered that instead of something new, the essential qualites they are looking to create in their programs is what we’ve been doing at LREI since Elisabeth Irwin founded our school nearly 100 years ago.
     
    Collaboration, critical thinking, courage, and citizenship are not just character traits that are nice, they are essential
     
    For example, we know that the collective intellectual abilities of a team are stronger than individual effort alone, and this is why you see students collaboratively solving problems together in our math and science classrooms.
     
    We know that the ability to think iteratively: to design and revise, is the catalyst for innovative ideas, which is why our art classes are filled with film makers, painters, photographers, musicians and actors who, through the iterative processes of making, are designing work that pushes their ideas far beyond their original concepts.
     
    And we know that empathy: this deep understanding of how our lives intersect with the human condition is why our juniors design their own research trips around topics such as immigration, environmental justice, and refugee resettlement, in order to come to know and value the lives and experiences of the people who live in the  communities where this issues are unfolding.
     
    Everyday we are proud of the work we are doing with your children. We know this work matters for their time in our classrooms, and far beyond."
  • A Note From Elena, Lower School Principal

    Elena Jaime
    Dear Families,

    I imagine that the tragic events of these past several weeks, the threats to members of our local and global communities, the murders and attempted murders of people in Pennsylvania and Kentucky over the weekend, and the countless other hate crimes that have gone unreported continue to be on the minds of many of you. Last Thursday morning, I shared a note with the teachers regarding some of my thoughts on the impact of these moments on our work as educators. Below is an excerpt of that note.

    As educators in today’s political climate, we find ourselves in the position of reimagining how we teach our students, even and perhaps especially, our youngest students, about how to engage in productive, thoughtful and respectful dialogue. Regardless of where you position yourself on the political landscape, the fact remains that we are in this moment because words have been weaponized in today’s political environment. There is little dialogue that occurs between people and groups who disagree on issues, and what has taken its place is a natural inclination to demonize and dehumanize those with whom we disagree.

    When I am my best self, I hope to model the ability to speak about those with whom I fundamentally disagree in a way that still honors their humanity. To be sure, the events of yesterday are directly connected to the dangerous ways in which our leaders have chosen to consolidate political power by harnessing the very worst in people and there is an important lesson in naming that as such. My hope is that I also model for our youngest students the ways in which we combat demagoguery and hate-filled speech with clear messages of hope that are grounded in a desire to create equitable and just spaces for all.

    We are poised to help develop the next generation of citizens and activists. I hope that this note represents to you an affirmation of the work that you do every day. I feel blessed to work with people who, each day, model what it looks like to disagree about everything from a pencil at work time to the question of whether there should be limits on immigration to the US. The work you do will have a lasting impact on the state of discourse for years to come.

    I also wish to resend the resources I referenced in a push page that Judy and I co-wrote many moons ago. Above all else, it’s a reminder to watch closely what the children bring up in conversation, at work, and in play, and provide just enough information to correct any misunderstandings without adding to their worries. And, as always, to remind students that the job of the adults in their lives is to keep them safe.

    We continue to be grateful for your partnership in navigating these complicated moments with your children. Below are the resources referenced in the letter to the teachers. Please do not hesitate to be in touch.


    In partnership,
    Elena
     

    ADULT RESOURCES:
    1. School Violence Prevention: Tips for Parents and Educators: National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)  www.nasponline.org
    2. Why Did It Happen?: Helping Young Children Cope in a Violent World by Janice Cohn
    3. Helping Children Cope with Frightening News: Child Mind Institute http://childmind.org/article/helping-children-cope-frightening-news/

    STORY BOOKS FOR CHILDREN:
    1. Jenny is Scared!: When Something Sad Happens in the World by Carol Shuman
    2. The Rhino Who Swallowed a Storm by LeVar Burton & Susan Schaefer Bernardo
    3. A Terrible Thing Happened by Margaret M. Holmes
  • Collaboration

    Allison Isbell & Margaret Paul
    Have you tried to explain a complicated concept to a friend only to discover, while talking, that it was clearer in your head? Or, have you ever thought you understood a concept, but discovered that you were missing important pieces when you tried to explain it to someone else? 
     
     
    Have you ever shared a new idea with a group, only to discover than your idea grows stronger--gains strength--through the discussion itself?
     

    We ask our students to do lots of work together. They solve math problems together, conduct experiments together, analyze texts together, and construct their understandings, together.
     
     
    The work of collaboration orients students toward creating something that is greater than what they might produce on their own. And in this process, some truly transformative learning happens.
     
     

     
    Here are just a few abilities students cultivate by working collaboratively:
     
    Establishing trust and taking intellectual risks
    Listening to and building on the ideas of others
    Critiquing ideas, not people
    Challenging existing narratives
    Changing minds through evidence and persuasion
    Navigating and managing conflict
     
     
    We live in a complex, complicated world. Our work as teachers is to help students develop the ability to not only navigate this world, but to be positioned as citizens capable of solving problems together, and ultimately bringing about meaningful change in the communites where they will work and live.
     
     
    If you would like to read a more about the collaboration skills we are cultivating at LREI click the following link: 

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