President's Desk - November 2022

As we turn another page in our calendars to November, we find ourselves at that familiar time of year when that distinctive hum can be sensed throughout the school. The newness of the academic year has worn off, student and faculty members are well acquainted, and the educational focus has made that exciting shift from review to new and exciting content and learning.

The classrooms throughout Nardin Academy are alive with learning which is made possible by the caring and talented faculty throughout the Academy. And, because our faculty is fully dedicated to the very best educational experience for our students, Nardin has committed to updating our curriculum in a formal way. This process of updating, creating, and aligning curriculum is referred to as curriculum mapping. The purpose of carefully examining and updating curriculum through a collaborative approach is to ensure the best instructional practices continue across the Academy. This alignment process also ensures we avoid repetition, identify instructional gaps, and examine assessments. All of these benefits are important for an academic institution that supports the educational journey of students from 18 months to 18 years. 

Throughout the first two months of this academic year, during our professional development days, our faculty has been able to meet with our consulting partner, Heidi Hayes Jacobs, who is the Founder and President of Curriculum Designers and Curriculum21, along with her colleague Allison Zmuda, and our Vice President for Education Excellence, Dr. Bobbie Finocchio. The goal of these two months was to provide a high level overview of the current year's curriculum for each subject area. Faculty have engaged in professional conversations with their colleagues to ensure the curriculum was aligned vertically and horizontally, Montessori - 12. 

As an Independent School, we have latitude and freedom to explore various sources of educational standards and aim to develop a curriculum that targets learning goals that exceed state standards. As we wrap up Phase one of our curriculum work, families and students can expect to see some examples of the teacher created Storyboards in the Spring of 2023.  

Looking ahead, faculty will begin to think about various types of authentic assessments that empower students to showcase their learning in experiential and varied ways. While we believe there is still a need for traditional types of assessments such as composition writing, students at Nardin have been and will continue to be engaged in learning and assessment that prepares them to be global thinkers and creators, self-navigators, mindful contributors, agents of their own learning, and innovative designers. 

We will continue to update families on this important work that will differentiate Nardin Academy as a learning organization that embraces life long learning and growing along with our students. 

Be well & God bless,
Dr. Sandra Betters