Monday, November 24, 2008

Disrupting Class by Clayton Christensen: a work that independent schools need to consider...

From an independent school listserve - "Clayton Christensen is arguably the world's foremost expert on the impact that disruptive innovation can have on existing organizations. In Disrupting Class Christensen (and co-authors Michael Horn and Curtis Johnson) present a compelling case that within 10 years 50% of the courses secondary-school students take will be computer delivered, and that by
2024 80% of courses will be taught online. These courses, according to Christensen, will provide customization that takes into account different intelligences and different learning styles. If Christensen's theory is correct -and there is a distinct possibility that it is- then our schools are likely to undergo huge transformative changes over the next 15 years."

What is the impact of this theory on MPH?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

When is Student Support Services needed for my child?

MPH honors individual development while carefully monitoring the acquisition of skills and knowledge as students progress through school. The thoughtful and challenging 6-8 program is designed to educate students with a wide range of academic abilities and different learning styles. When a child struggles or does not seem to be making progress in a particular area, the faculty works hard to identify and address concerns in order to help every child make progress and experience success. When this doesn’t happen, it may be a good time to look for assistance from Student Support Services. The question for many parents becomes when is Student Support Services needed?

Initial concerns about struggling students most often come from teachers, but may also come from parents or students themselves. For example, a student may:

have trouble finishing tasks
be easily distracted
have trouble reading
not be able to retain math facts
have difficulty with coordination and body awareness
struggle with and avoid writing assignments
have trouble making and maintaining friendships
feel unsuccessful despite his/her best efforts

If you have a concern about your child, please let me know. We have support at MPH that can often be a source of great help to students.



Wednesday, November 19, 2008

How Academically Rigorous is MPH?

One of my big beliefs, and is at the core of MPH's mission statement, is the need for the middle school to pursue academic excellence. I think it's inherent in an independent school's DNA. Below I pasted some stats from NAIS for parents on this topic:

Among the findings about private school students:

They have to work harder to graduate. “Private high school students typically have more demanding graduation requirements than do public high schools students,” according to “Private Schools: A Brief Portrait,” a report from the National Center for Education Statistics (the research arm of the U.S. Department of Education).

They study core knowledge to advanced levels. Private school graduates are more likely than their peers from public schools to have completed advanced-level courses in key academic subject areas. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics’ “National Educational Longitudinal Study” (NELS), 85 percent of NAIS students study a foreign language before the eighth grade, compared to 24 percent of students overall. The NELS study also showed that students at NAIS schools were more than twice as likely to complete algebra in eighth grade (70 percent of NAIS students, compared to 32 percent of all students polled). By completing gateway courses early, NAIS school students are able to take the most advanced courses during their final years of high school.

They volunteer more. Private high school students are four times more likely than public high school students to have a community service requirement for graduation, according to “Private Schools: A Brief Portrait.” “The Freshman Survey Trends Report,” a survey of first-year college students that’s conducted by the Higher Education Research Institute, found that 90 percent of NAIS students had participated in volunteer work in the preceding year, compared to 83 percent of all students.