This is a momentous time in Allen-Stevenson’s long history. Over its 136 years since 1883, the School has been “educating boys to become scholars and gentlemen,” and its educational program has evolved considerably. Once focused solely on the classics of Latin and Greek, the School now prizes its “enlightened traditional” approach of academics, athletics and the arts.
As a school, we must pay close attention to the rapidly changing world and how this influences education. Today there is much more emphasis on making sure that teachers themselves are also learners and that students take more responsibility for their own learning. And there are many new curricular initiatives that reflect how “real world” challenges and scenarios should relate to learning for the future.
Emerging after many discussions with faculty, administrators, parents and trustees, our 20/20 Vision Statement has grown out of these opportunities. It is intended to be a “north star” to guide how we think about educating boys for the challenges they face as they grow into adulthood.
As you may know, the School is in the midst of an ambitious, transformative building expansion project, and many of our educational goals will be supported handsomely by our new facilities. This state-of-the-art schoolhouse will:
- Support inquiry, project-based, and interdisciplinary learning programs in the sciences, humanities, and other areas;
- Create high-quality educational facilities (including the visual and performing arts, as well as new science/engineering labs and a greenhouse) with appropriate opportunities for flexibility, transparency, and collaboration;
- Provide additional space on site for physical education, wellness and athletics;
- Add a new multi-purpose performing arts studio to supplement the Assembly Hall and accommodate classes, rehearsals, and recitals for music, dance, and drama;
- Use the best technology available to enhance teaching, learning, and security;
- Renovate and update our dining facilities, including a brand new kitchen to accommodate the needs of the Allen-Stevenson community.
We aim to finish the entire project by the 2020-2021 academic year, with major phases coming on line sooner.
Consolidating our program at one address will help to fulfill the new 20/20 Vision Statement, which follows from Allen-Stevenson’s Mission Statement. The new vision statement accentuates the importance of helping boys develop the capacity to be active and engaged in their learning. Educators often refer to this quality as agency.
Our statement also highlights guided inquiry and collaboration as central elements in Allen-Stevenson’s community of teachers and learners. The new Library Tech Commons is being designed around this new approach and will feature movable walls, larger flexible classrooms and smaller spaces for collaborative learning. Another theme that runs through the vision statement: the belief in each boy’s best potential may well be the most visionary point of all.
Similarly, the 20/20 Vision Statement looks beyond the School’s confines when it alludes to educating each boy “to acquire cultural competence and global understanding, to appreciate community and engaged citizenship, and to develop the drive to share responsibility for promoting a sustainable and equitable world.”
As you consider Allen-Stevenson, we hope that you will share our vision for educating and building boys for the future.