Dear Middle School Families,

Second semester is well underway, and we are certainly beginning a season of much activity in the Middle School. As a part of our ongoing efforts to keep you informed, we have created a new section on the Middle School website that you may find helpful. In case you have missed any of the recent email newsletters, you can find them all archived in one convenient place for your reference. Topics include upcoming social events, class trips, conferences, puberty talks, and more!

Middle School Page > Current Families > Middle School Reminders

Amidst the whirlwind of winter activities, I would like to share two wildly important priorities our #MVMiddle team has been working on recently (Instructional Rounds and Design Thinking). As part of the Atlanta K12 Design Challenge, members of our faculty have been in partnership with 11 Atlanta public and private schools and the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford University (the ""). Over the last 18 months, teams of educators from each of the 11 schools have built capacity for design thinking as a process for school innovation; launched pathways to solving complex issues; developed institutional capacity for change; and developed rich connections and collaborations across schools.

At the same time, we have conducted over 281 classroom observations since August, including 24 faculty members on 4 Instructional Rounds Networks. We have collected data on the relationships between space configurations (i.e. - paired, seminar, debate), the roles students are asked to play (i.e. - producer, consumer), and levels of student engagement (among other indicators). We are learning key insights into how to maximize and achieve such “principles and practices” on the MV Continuum as “learning demands interactive and flexible spaces."
Most exciting of all, our students are participants and the direct beneficiaries of this collaboration. Teachers and students will be experimenting with a variety of seating options, trying different space configurations, exploring outdoor spaces with tent canopies, and “resetting the rooms.” And all of this with low-res, inexpensive prototypes, student choice, and teacher ingenuity. Specifically, we will use student and teacher feedback to decide how to spend a $10,000 grant we received from the Dobbs Foundation as part of the Atlanta K12 Design Challenge.

Stay tuned for more on our exciting and relevant learning! 

I love my school,

Chip Houston
Head of Middle School
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