This year, we began implementation of Destination 2026, our strategic plan for the instructional future of Mariemont City Schools – the culmination of two years of work to address the changing needs of today’s and tomorrow’s students and how we, as a school district, will respond. It’s work that I am extremely proud of, as it’s what gives us our vision, our focus and drives our work. And a critical component of Destination 2026 is Warriors BEyond, our flagship program for student opportunities to amplify the curriculum, including new enrichment experiences, travel opportunities, career exploration and service learning.
We want our students to be global learners and leaders and to be prepared to compete with their peers around the globe. Our efforts to create globally competent learners are being reinforced this summer through travel opportunities to bring learning to life and give participating students life-changing, inspirational experiences.
This year, we have 10 high school students attending a global student leadership summit in Europe. The 2016 EF Global Student Leaders Summit will take place in The Hague, Netherlands and focus on the theme “Exploring Human Rights.” The summit consists of an educational tour and a leadership conference that brings young leaders from around the world together to inspire each other and collaborate to solve global challenges. Together, they will learn to be better leaders, innovators and creative thinkers who can adapt to any environment and hone crucial skills necessary to prepare them for life after high school in both their collegiate and career pursuits. This summit is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, allowing students to expand their global understanding and strengthen their voices. I know these students look forward to this journey.
Also, in early June, 11 high school students will participate in a service-learning trip to Nicaragua, where they will gain insight into the challenges locals face throughout the country as they work side by side building sustainable solutions, hopefully empowering communities for generations to come.
And our 8th graders are preparing for this year’s tour of Washington, D.C., where they will make real-world connections to their curriculum. Last school year, 91 students and nine staff members visited 26 monuments and museums during this three-day trip. The Washington D.C. experience is now offered as an annual opportunity to our 8th grade students.
A big thank you to our support organizations like the Mariemont School Foundation, PTOs and Kiwanis, along with several individual donors, for providing financial assistance to many of the students traveling this summer. This support is what makes these learning opportunities possible for so many of our students.
We believe experiences beyond the traditional curriculum must be part of the larger academic program, and our commitment to providing a well-rounded experience to our students will make for an exciting summer for many of them. As you look to the summer months, I encourage you to empower your own child to find ways to lead, reach and explore while taking family vacations this summer or simply playing in the backyard. Remember – learning happens everywhere!