In February our Trustees were invited to visit classrooms and observe firsthand the learning that occurs every day at St. Anne's. A presentation by four 8th grade students at the January Board meeting inspired them to see more! Our trustees shared these reflections from their visit days:
Thinking back on my visit to various classes, what strikes me is the engagement of the students in all the classes. A large part of this, of course, was the teachers' efforts to get all the students involved, but they all seemed eager to contribute. The other thing that struck me was how well the students will be prepared for high school, from those doing quadratic equations in math to a Spanish class with teacher and students exchanging comments in Spanish in confident, conversational mode, to a Language Arts class where students did not just read portions of a book, but had to discuss what thoughts and meaning they got from the book. I enjoyed the day very much.
- Bill Brownlee
I spent about five hours at St. Anne's today. It was the most rewarding visit, and I felt I only saw a tiny little bit of all the action that happens. I saw amazing teachers, highly engaged students and a collaborative community of learners. I wish I could go again and keep seeing other classes.
- Ana Ramirez, Chair
The children are incredibly supportive of each other. "Project-based learning" in groups is a buzz in teaching now, and I saw that it was happening naturally here. In 8th grade math they were working in groups and when they got stuck they turned to another group. It truly was a problem solving exercise. Somebody jumped in and helped someone else. They expect everyone to contribute, so no one could drift away.
Coming from Tower Hill, for me it was interesting to see where the religious aspect appeared at St. Anne's. I came on a Thursday and attended academic classes and chapel. I was surprised when a couple of 8th grade boys said that they were looking forward to going to chapel! The students were actively involved during chapel, and the lesson was clearly engaging. However, it was not just chapel. The students clearly understood the Biblical references that appeared in Fahrenheit 451. The students comfort level in talking about beliefs and ethical questions was also clear in Comparative Religion class. It was natural and not strained. My student host was great, as were all the students, and the faculty were very welcoming.
- Harry Baetjer, St. Anne's Truste
The class that blew me away was 6th grade Spanish Class with Mabel Lee. It was entirely in Spanish, it was organized, and every child was engaged. I was so impressed with this class. Ms. Otwell's 5th grade STEM class was also very engaging. It included visual, engaging material that I found compelling.
- Jason Honsel, Trustee
I was impressed by the interactions. It was very fluid & natural. I thought the 4th grade parent visit to fifth grade was valuable and well done.
- Laura Cogar, Trustee
We are very proud of the learning that happens at St. Anne's every day. Jill Reilly has since hosted visits for parents to come and observe what lies ahead next year for several grades. If you are interested in scheduling an observation time, we invite you to contact Heather Walls (ext. 341) who will coordinate with Mrs. Reilly and teachers.