Let's Talk About Education

High Hopes: Celebrating Learning and Student Life

June 1, 2021 - By Scott Little - Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

As we approach the end of the 2020-21 school year, the collective focus of the school and the school community is quite appropriately where it should be: on celebrating what has been a highly successful school year. And is there ever a lot to celebrate! EARJ’s “can-do” approach to learning and student life that has been on full display throughout the entire school year and reaches its growth in the final weeks of the semester.

We look forward to your participation in a number of events (many of which are this week) that showcase student learning over the course of the year including Upper School arts exhibitions, Lower School arts exhibitions (including a drive-thru exhibition at the Barra campus), virtual talent shows and year-end concerts, and G11 Theory of Knowledge exhibitions. Rites of passage promotion celebrations are coming up shortly for our Grade 5 and Grade 8 students as they enter Middle School and High School respectively and we have designed ceremonies for these events that will allow for the participation of students from home and school and the participation of parents from home.

On the academic front, MAP Growth testing continues in both the Lower Schools and Upper Schools this week as a way of measuring student achievement and academic growth. High School exams are being held from June 7th-11th and will provide an opportunity for High School students to demonstrate their learning and mastery of each subject studied. The results of MAP and year-end student achievement for all students will be shared with the community during the final week of school and will provide an opportunity to celebrate where your children are, what they’ve accomplished academically and any next steps to be taken.

On curriculum-related matters, we are in the process of completing our trial implementation of the IB Primary Years Programme(PYP) on both campuses and our first year of instruction of the IB Diploma Programme(DP) on the Barra Campus. To top it all off, we recently had our application to become an IB Middle Years Programme(MYP) candidate school accepted and we will begin the trial implementation of the MYP next school year. It truly has been a remarkable year and we couldn’t be prouder of what we have achieved together!

Our ability to accomplish so much this school year highlights our determination, innovation, creativity, and ability to see the upside of adversity. In her book, “The Upside of Stress” by Dr. Kelly McGonigal, Dr. Kelly suggests that taking this approach helps to change the way we cope. According to McGonigal, the net benefit of employing a positive mindset and finding opportunities where others only see obstacles is that it leads us to find a greater purpose in life and hope for the future. Our celebration of the 2020-21 school year is proof-positive of this approach and of the optimism and high hopes that we have for our children and for their future.

“Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford

Scott Little
Barra Upper School Principal

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