Upper School, Englewood Cliff, NJ
The Upper School consists of grades 3-8, with approximately 50 students per grade level. The former library/media program is now known as Educate to Innovate. Through all Visual and Performing Arts Courses, and in conjunction with the newly redesigned Computer Science and Design Thinking course, students are offered opportunities for self-discovery to help guide their career aspirations with a keen eye on anticipated future societal needs.
In the Educate to Innovate program, students begin with an introduction to the principles of research, inquiry, and digital citizenship, but with a modern twist: usage of multi-media content. Then, students self-assess their skills and interests. This information is used to create personalized learning experiences centered on career awareness, which are complemented by philanthropic activities and schoolwide programming efforts. Students ask themselves how they can contribute to their school, their community, and the world at large; and, then advance to a unit of study based on innovation.
Middle school students specifically engage in Educate to Innovate in the form of a rotating circuit of courses focused on innovation, integrity, and leadership. These courses are designed to help students engage in skill-building activities that will help them both now and throughout high school. Students self-select their course of choice based on rotational offerings. Some examples of offerings include Student Council, Wind Ensemble, L.E.A.D. (Leadership, Empathy, Action, Dedication) Club, Video Game Creation, and Podcasting. The newly redesigned Computer Science and Design Thinking curriculum complements the Educate to Innovate program, as concepts are centered on the three branches of science and their career applications. At the same time, Computer Science and Design Thinking curriculum affirms the need for artists, inventors, and story-tellers in the future workforce.