9/27/19 Weekly Reflection

Written by Chelle Wabrek Assistant Head of School for Academic Affairs

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I arrived here on Wednesday for the Mastery Transcript Consortium Site Directors Conference.  Lovett has been a member of this unique group for several years.  Their goal is to create a HS transcript that communicates individual strengths and interests of students -- read, a transcript that is not just a list of classes and grades.  An interesting concept that belies the desire we all feel to communicate the whole child.
 
They have, just this year, unveiled a prototype of this transcript and four of the 286 member schools will use it with their Seniors in this year's college process. Check it out.  There were numerous college admissions officers in attendance and their questions were insightful.  They too want something that differentiates a student but acknowledge they have 5-8 minutes to spend on each application.  I would be interested in your feedback and ideas -- they aren't looking for a portfolio, but a quick, multi-dimensional, contextualized view of a child that they can compare to lots of others.  Quite a challenge.
 
Last night I was free for the evening and met our awesome 7th graders for the Nationals Game. In Meredyth's lunch meetings with Seniors they frequently reference the travel opportunities they have had at Lovett and note the "stickiness" of the learning on those journeys.  
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The teachers were chipper and energized despite numerous 5 a.m. wake-ups in a row.  It was so obvious that they were enjoying the students and each other.  Another one of those moments when the important relationships, the gold standard of a Lovett education, stood out!
 
Our 7th graders even started a wave that took over Nationals Stadium and got them on the jumbotron!  
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While my time away prevented me from the BEST part of my job, peeking into your classrooms, I am completely indebted to our teachers who tweet and use social media to celebrate Lovett so I could remain on top of what is happening. 

Our 4th graders had a family share, welcoming a parent into the classroom to share the world of work and family balance.  What a wonderful way to connect our community!

 in a 7th grade classroom last week I found girls brainstorming topics for a human rights research project.  They chose such far-reaching and meaningful topics as girls education in Pakistan, children's rights in Nigeria, employment discrimination in China, the rights of those with disabilities in Kazakhstan, and human trafficking in Libya.  This week these students designed t-shirts and made flipgrids to advocate for the human dignity of all the world's people!
 
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Learning to advocate for these important issues and to situate oneself beyond the personal is crucial to education in this age of exponential growth and change in an increasingly connected world.  Teachers and students gathered each day this week as part of the Global Climate Strike to raise awareness about the growing pressures on our planet. The temperatures on our own campus in September are an apt reminder of the squeeze Earth is experiencing.

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8th graders continued exploration of Newton's Laws -- laws of motion that underpin the mechanical world and tie into our everyday lives at every turn!

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And not to leave the experimentation to our oldest middle schoolers, the Innovation Intramurals continue for the 6th and 7th graders as they are in week three of building solar cars!

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Not to be outdone....engineering is alive and well in the Lower School as well.  Mr. Ellenberg, from the Atlanta based Ellenburg Chair Company, visited with 4th graders to discuss production, sales and manufacturing.  Students worked to create human-centered design solutions that carried the whimsy of their own personalities along with them!  


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As if our Academic Tech staff haven't been busy enough, the Lunch and Learn was well attended and Google Tips abounded. Do you know about Google Keep? Virtual post-its that sync to Google Drive!  Very handy! 
 
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Art and more art! The halls of the 2nd floor of the US are adorned with pencil drawings from  2-D art class. Using a single point and vertical, horizontal or angled lines, students translated the three dimensional spaces of our very own community center to 2-D pieces of paper!   
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US Athletes were guest stars at Lower School carpool again this week!  Our youngest students LOVE when the big kids come to visit. 
 
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We are so blessed to find ourselves on one campus and I am continually looking for ways our students can connect across divisions.  One Upper Schooler recently met with Meredyth, Carrie Stafford and I to look for ways to support lower schoolers struggling with reading as this was a challenge she faced herself in lower school.
Meanwhile, my 9th grade English class was in good hands with sub, Fran Turner who asked them to reflect on/redesign their SING experience from last week!  She challenged them to determine what put the "wind in the sails of their SING ship." 
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I look forward to landing back in my office on Monday, having a whole week back at Lovett....where teachers have thought about children as far more than the sum of the grades for decades..... the Mastery Transcript Consortium could learn much about communicating the whole child from all of you!
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