Today marked the first late-start RDI (Research, Design, Iteration) Day of the school year where all of our faculty and staff collided across divisions and disciplines for a deep learning around topics such as curriculum, assessment practices, teaching methodologies, interdisciplinary strategies, and neuroscience.

Our student learners are the immediate beneficiaries of our commitment to faculty learning and innovative practice, and we greatly appreciate your partnership so that we can provide key moments for professional growth. 

Each group’s learning experience today is summarized below: 

Assessment Sophistication
Members of this group built cover stories about their summer learning reading choices to compel their colleagues to read their selection, too. They then explored how best to give strong feedback that is not a letter grade, deepening their use of anecdotal and formative feedback as well as self assessment. The ultimate goal for this group is to best understand to what extent each student is learning and to identify next steps in the learning journey. 

Courageous Conversations
This group built on their comprehensive understanding of diverse experiences by delving into various perspectives covered in their summer reading options. They then built a variety of relevant resources to support courageous conversations, and members of this team are committed to cascading these resources to their colleagues. 

Differentiated Instruction and Support
This group dove into conversation around best practices in the classroom to support learners of all levels. After reviewing their summer reading choices and sharing applications to each of their classrooms, the team designed different avenues for students to interact with content, process new ideas, and develop multiple options for products that promote deep learning.  

Humanities Focused Inquiry Based Learning (IBL)
This team used the Design Thinking/Project Based Learning methodologies to enhance several members’ learning units already in progress. They planned opportunities to promote deeper learning through specific initiatives such as expeditionary learning, experts in residence, external experts, creation of public products, incorporating student voice and choice, and self-reflection. 

STEAM Focused Inquiry Based Learning (IBL)
This STEAM team gathered to curate and exhibit various demonstrations of student learning, examining levels of craftsmanship and how we can enhance the products of learning. By collaborating vertically across divisions, they discovered significant connections, which will enable them to increase interdisciplinary opportunities. 

Mind, Brain, and Education (MBE) Science
After exploring one of the many NeuroTeach Global mini-courses online, the team gathered to share their insights. They also explored ways to apply these tools in the classroom that support the application of Mind, Brain, and Education Science best practices.  

Preschool Team
In Preschool, each classroom teacher is engaging in a long-term personal Research project. These projects are designed to further teachers’ understanding of emerging and current research in early childhood education in order to further develop our classroom practices and work to make sure that our classrooms reflect the most current understanding around Anti-Bias Education, Assessment Sophistication, Mind, Brain, Education, Differentiated Instruction, and Professional Learning and Growth. Today we introduced the process of teacher research and went through a number of reflective exercises to help teachers focus in on their topic of study and form an initial draft of their research question, which is also their year-long professional goal.

Professional Learning and Growth Plan
This team explored the Charlotte Danielson Framework for Excellence in Teaching to continue developing competencies that will ensure faculty continue to grow professionally in the complex aspects of teaching. More specifically, the team examined our instructional rounds tools and drafted new iterations that will provide faculty enhanced feedback from observations and conversations.

This team met to incorporate and apply Donald Miller’s StoryBrand strategies to reimagine and craft the messaging used in marketing and advertising. By analyzing the research collected over the past several years through digital footprints, they were able to fine-tune the School’s collective brand promises. 

As a school of inquiry, innovation, and impact, Mount Vernon’s Strategic Plan MVx calls us to research, design, and iterate in an ongoing effort to elevate the success of our students. As an organization, we are committed to being in a constant state of growth through continued development and training.

The more we invest in teacher training and professional development, the more we can reinvest in the students at Mount Vernon.

Stay tuned for our next share-out of learning in October!