Letter from the Principal – Greg Hood
Dear Madison Community,
Professional learning and development for the Madison staff is off to an amazing start this year. Since 2016 our focus has been on Deeper Learning, an umbrella term used for the skills and competencies students must have to succeed in the 21st century. We will continue to send our teachers and administrators to Deeper Learning conferences, workshops, and courses to provide professional growth opportunities that impact student learning.
This year the faculty is taking a personalized approach to professional learning that will allow us to slow down and do some learning and reflecting on our progress around the integration of Deeper Learning into our instructional practices. Similarly, as staff members take ownership of their own learning by selecting a specialized cohort to expand their knowledge and skills, we will model the desired outcomes for our students and delve into our mission, to develop creative and resilient global citizens. The cohorts will meet throughout the year and focus on one of the following themes; classroom culture, authentic learning, global citizenship or instructional technology. By implementing Deeper Learning themes and strategies in the classroom, teachers can help students learn and hone the essential skills to achieve our mission.
We recognize to be an exceptional school we, both students and adults, must communicate, adapt and engage in continuous improvement. Woven throughout our Deeper Learning professional development are the ideas and research in Ron Ritchhart’s book, Creating Cultures of Thinking. During the year Madison’s faculty will study the eight cultural forces for creating cultures of thinking in a classroom. Teachers will then strive to create cultures of thinking in their classrooms by implementing strategies in which thinking, both individual and collective, is “valuable, visible and actively promoted.” Ultimately when students improve learning and collaboration by honing group and individual thinking processes, they gain a deeper sense of understanding of the content and problem solving skills. This month’s focus is specifically around cultural forces of expectations: recognizing how our beliefs shape our behavior.
This is a weighty task for the educators and students at Madison, yet we are committed to learning and to making a difference in our community!
Gregory S. Hood