Letter from the Principal

Greetings, Madison Community!

I hope all our families and students had a safe, relaxing, and rejuvenating spring break.

The return of students for in-person learning in March has been incredible.  Student voices, smiles, conversations, and laughter are filling the halls of Madison again. Teachers have continued to engage deeply with students virtually while integrating the in-person and virtual student populations into one Deeper Learning community each class day. And while we know that concurrent learning is not the best learning experience for all, every class and every day, we are doing our best for all students to make the experience as inclusive and meaningful as possible.

We are looking toward the school year’s end with excitement and hope for our seniors. This class of 2021, like the class of 2020, will remember high school for all of the common reasons, as well as their unique senior year experiences. I can imagine the future conversation a 2021 grad will have with their child, niece, nephew or grandchild who is graduating from high school: “When I was your age kid…” They will have lived an experience of high school that will and should be shared with the next generations.

We continue with our focus on examples of Deeper Learning across JMHS: Deeper Learning goes beyond the surface and provides opportunities for all learners to collaborate and innovate to find meaning and make connections in real-world, relevant, and authentic experiences that unlock our individual passions and collective joy.

Our path towards Deeper Learning has led us to seek out more opportunities for our faculty to collaborate with our students and learn more about their experiences as students in our learning community. During the month of March, five Madison students (three 10th and two 12th grade) joined several faculty members as a part of our team attending the Assessment for Learning Annual Conference.

This student-teacher team was a part of an “Idea Collider” design session. This virtual learning and design experience focused on developing prototypes of student-centered, interdisciplinary assessments including Student-Led Conferences, Portfolio Defenses, and Portraits of a Graduate that engage families in the assessment experience, as well as help us move forward on our journey towards Deeper Learning for all. Students self-selected an assessment type to learn more about, engaged our community of parents, teachers, and other students in empathy interviews to learn more about their assessment experiences, and are planning to share their ideas at the final conference event in May.

Our student team will also present their learning and prototype ideas to our school Leadership Council next month, as well as share more with you in an upcoming memo. We are looking forward to learning from them!

I would also like to thank you for all for the support you give to our students, staff, and school.

Sincerely,
Gregory S. Hood, Principal
James Madison High School
2500 James Madison Drive
Vienna, Virginia  22181
Phone:  703-319-2311
Email: gshood@fcps.edu
Website: http://www.fcps.edu/MadisonHS/