Letter from the Principal

Dear Madison Community,

Many of you are familiar with the powerful way that Project Zero, out of Harvard Graduate School of Education has inspired our faculty as we move towards a Culture of Deeper Learning for all. Passionate about arts education, Nelson Goodman founded the Project Zero Research Group in 1967 with the intention of learning more about the role art integration might have in schools. The project was named, ‘zero’ to signify that at that point in time, there was no research related to the field of arts education. Over fifty years later, Project Zero has expanded its focus to explore the challenges facing education today and tomorrow including the projects that have continued to inspire us: Making Thinking VisibleAgency by DesignCultures of Thinking, and Artful Thinking. As we learn more about Project Zero and Deeper Learning, like Goodman, we often turn to our art department both for inspiration and for their leadership in what Deeper Learning can look like for all of our students. We are excited to put a spotlight on some of the Deeper Learning experiences that our art students are engaged in this year:

  • Students in Studio Art are working on a Recycling Project where they are creating and innovating to repurpose old or unused objects such as broken locker doors, records, picture frames, skate boards, and shoes, and give them new life.
  • Small group Studio Art Design students explore emotions and the communication of emotions through mixed media emotive portraits.
  • Students in Digital Art 3 are making real-world connections through the investigations of contemporary issues such as education accessibility, clean water, and sustainability. Students will research their chosen topic and create public service announcement posters.
  • Students in Photo 1 are going beyond the surface of a simple writing prompt by ‘answering’ the prompt through handmade books. Students are telling stories through both writing, photography, and beautiful handmade creations.
  • Students in 3-D Studio Art are kicking off their annual Monster Project, an experience that connects students with an authentic audience of neighboring elementary school students. Our students become pen-pals with second graders who share images and written descriptions of a monster they have created. Our high school students creatively bring these designs to life, and present the second grade designers an actual monster at the Annual Pyramid Art Show later this month. If you want to hear more, the project was featured on the MADucation podcast last year.
  • Check out this link to see some of the artists’ final products.

These learning experiences connect with our school’s common understanding of Deeper Learning: 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.  
Many of these projects and more will be featured at the upcoming Annual Pyramid Art Show on March 19, from 6-7:30 pm in Warhawk Hall. We hope to see you there!

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/