Welcome to the 2017 – 2018 school year!
I am thrilled to announce the opening of RISE International School, a middle school that prides itself on an innovative approach to education that extends beyond the typical classroom experience.
The middle school years mark the passage from childhood to adulthood. It is a time when a young person’s cognitive, emotional, and social growth is enormously active. During this time, young teens are discovering their personalities, interests, and friendships. Most often, academics are at the bottom of the list of priorities for a middle schooler. Consequently, middle schools must acknowledge these inevitable changes in order to better meet the academic and emotional needs of adolescents and prepare them for life in the 21st century.
As the former American Section Head of History for over ten years at the Lycée International of St. Germain-en-Laye, I had the privilege of working with many diverse learners, each with a varying degree of focus, motivation, and ambition. Self-assured students who understood their individual strengths were able to find the mental courage to successfully navigate the often-demanding American and French systems. While other equally intelligent students, who had not yet discovered their personal strengths, were incapable of working to their true potential and therefore struggled throughout their years at the Lycée.
At RISE, students work in an environment where the approach to learning is tailored to their own learning styles alongside teachers who fully understand each child’s natural strengths. The RISE team encourages students to understand their personal capabilities and to push themselves beyond their comfort zone in order to explore and learn new skills. Given the right learning tools and with consistent support, every child can become his or her best self at school.
Alongside my partner, Janine Springall, I created RISE to offer students an alternative to mainstream bilingual education. We wanted to create a school with high academic standards for all those students who didn’t necessarily fit into the traditional educational “box” and who would also benefit from an emphasis on social development. Our goal is to provide a safe and nurturing environment that encompasses conventional curriculum while also focusing on 21st-century skill-based classes such as leadership, team building, service and project-based learning.
I am very much looking forward to what promises to be an exciting year ahead. Please stay tuned for our upcoming camps and Voices RISE Speaker Series as well as our Service Learning Wednesday Program – all kicking off in October.