Last year marked the beginning of a budding RVIS partnership with two highly-regarded independent schools in Princeton New Jersey, Stuart Country Day School, an independent K-12 girls’ school and Princeton Academy, an independent K-8 boys’ school.
Throughout the year, Meg and Tilly Hutchinson and their Kindergarten students collaborated with the kindergarteners from Stuart Country Day to enhance several units of study. “By communicating with the class, they were able to help our students see the changes in seasons from summer to autumn, which is pertinent for the study of trees but something many of our students had never seen,” said Ms. Hutchinson. In a reciprocal fashion, RVIS students were able to share aspects of the desert, such as vegetation and animals which the children in Princeton had only seen in books. Through Meg’s and Tilly’s innovative teaching practices and global outlook, they were able to enrich each student's experience and help them see a different part of the world.
The next chapter in the growing partnership is focused on RVIS’s grade six, seven, and eight classes. During the summer break, middle school teachers, Shannon Greer and Gary Bicker, travelled to Princeton, New Jersey and met with these two schools with a vision to create a culture of global learners and citizens, while forging academic and cultural connections across the globe.
The middle school partnership will begin with 7th grade students collaborating on a “Water for Life” project, where they will seek practical solutions for providing access to clean water in underserved communities. In addition, 6th grade students will collaborate in a monthly live Global Book Club to experience a fresh approach to reading discussion and gain new insights into the culture and community each group experiences.
During the collaboration this summer, members of all three schools expressed excitement about the possibility of a student exchange during the current school year. The hope is for exchanges to become a permanent fixture for students and teachers. As the partnership continues, we would like further projects to include students in elementary and high school. Mrs. Greer and Dr. Bicker left New Jersey very excited about the enthusiasm of the Princeton teachers to be collaborating with RVIS this year, and in the years to come!