Maret fosters a vibrant atmosphere for learning. Teachers and students explore, probe, debate, create, and problem-solve as partners.
- Teachers gravitate to Maret for its rich, robust teaching environment.
- Maret promotes teamwork, cross-discipline teaching, professional development, and lifelong learning among our faculty.
- Published authors, composers and musicians, inventors, innovators, museum-shown artists, award-winning educators: our teachers are multitalented professionals whose career skills and “real life” insights enrich the classroom.
- Colleagues and collaborators, they learn from – and support – one another.
Beyond the content specific to designated academic courses, Maret teachers help students develop the essential skills they need to be well-rounded adults in a rapidly evolving world. Our goal is for students to use these skills to inquire deeply, think critically, and act responsibly in all aspects of their lives.
- Research, Exploration, and Problem Solving
- Information, Media, and Technology Literacy
- Global Awareness
Understanding the rapidly evolving world in which our students live and will mature, we recognize that it is important to move beyond the traditional canon of content to concentrate on the cultivation of skills. We believe that the core program should be used to develop students’ skills in academic, physical education, and social/emotional realms. Skills are carefully woven throughout the entire K-12 program with the goal that students will have these resources at their disposal to inquire and think critically in their physical, emotional, and intellectual lives.
Case Institute for Curricular Innovation and Excellence
Established in 2008, The Case Institute for Curricular Innovation and Excellence is an educational incubator that optimizes the energy, talent, and imagination of Maret’s faculty. This dynamic professional development summer program provides faculty with increased compensation and the time to collaborate, create, and improve their courses and teaching methods.
The model for Maret’s Case Institute has been successfully replicated at other schools. We welcome the opportunity to discuss this program with educators and share our insights on how this important initiative can enhance your faculty’s experience.
- Faculty submits project proposals for work spanning 2-4 summer weeks
- Faculty are compensated for summer work
- Selected projects must advance Maret’s curriculum goals
- Most projects are implemented the following school year
- Participants submit final project reports and evaluate their work during the implementation stage
- Participants share results with Maret's faculty, parents, and other educators
The 2016 Summer Case Institute, its eighth year, included 7 projects and approximately 60 faculty members, some of whom participated in multiple projects.
Refining Assessment in the French Program
(3 Faculty – 1 Week)
This initiative, made up of middle and upper school French teachers, explored innovative ways to assess students that focus on intellectual growth, excellent study habits, and academic achievement, and to establish a system in which our assessment practices align with the departmental goals of communication and proficiency.
(7 Faculty – 1 Week)
A team of physics teachers, including new Science Department Chair Reyna Pratt, created the curriculum for the new Physics 9 class, which offers an alternative entry point to the sciences for upper school students. The class will run for the first time in the 2016-17 school year.
Reading Across Curriculum: Grades 5-10
(7 Faculty – 1 Week)
The group was developed to reflect on where Maret can improve reading instruction in various grade levels and subject areas. The team was very successful in making modifications to their curriculum, reflecting on our teaching practices, and thinking through ways to improve reading instruction in our departments and school as a whole. The team also spent time thinking about ways to support next year’s theme "Reading." To prepare for this initiative, the group read When Kids Can’t Read by Kylene Beers and Reading Reconsidered by Doug Lemov.
Lower School Writing
(5 Faculty – 1 Week)
The goal of this initiative was to allow first and fourth grade teachers the necessary time to delve fully into the Writing Workshop resources to revise their current writing curricula to better reflect the structure and goals of Lucy Calkins’s Writing Workshop model. This involved breaking down and exploring particular writing units, such as Small Moments and/or Bringing History to Life, by organizing lessons into a specific sequence tailored to meet the particular needs of Maret students, as well as scripting lessons to ensure that common language is used in all classrooms.
Lower School Identity
Working with an outside expert, lower school faculty explored programming around identity. The goal of this initiative was to develop programming to help our students develop a strong sense of self and belonging, feel respected and valued, understand the value of difference, approach the world recognizing injustice, and build community based on equity and inclusion.
Eighth Grade Humanities
The goal of this initiative was to integrate the content, skills, and thematic approach of the English 8 and History 8 curricula. The work was guiding by the underlying philosophy that integration of humanities English and History courses would create a degree of synchronization with the following results:
- Allowing students to enrich their understanding of the content of both courses;
- Allowing students to engage in reading and writing skills that thoughtfully compliment each other;
- Providing students different entry points into understanding the larger themes which guide both courses;
- Creating a more equitable learning environment where students will be able to see clearly the connection between both courses to increase success in both.
- Providing a greater range of voices and histories in both curricula.
Deepening the Discussion About Race
(39 Faculty - 3 One-Week Sessions)
Three separate cohorts of Deepening the Discussion About Race met in June, July, and August. With these three sessions, 100% of the faculty—including new faculty—have now gone through the program. The unusual number of sessions also allowed Holly Hinderlie and Eliza Alexander, the creators and leaders of this, to train three new interns. This year's new internal facilitators proved invaluable as the school continues in this important work.
This summer initiative was designed to create an in-house, diversity training experience for Maret faculty. The primary goal of this experience is to have a sustained conversation about race and equity. Participants develop a deeper understanding of the history and context around race and racism in our country, in Washington, D.C, and at Maret. Activities center around an exploration of participants’ personal awareness of their own perspectives on race and how that shapes how they teach and lead. Additionally, faculty develop a common language, a shared framework, and a set of tools that impact their work at Maret.
The 2015 Summer Case Institute, its eighth year, included 5 projects and 66 faculty members, some of whom participated in multiple projects.
First Grade Integration
(8 Faculty – 1 Week)
Lead by Chris Appleby, Director of the Lower School
Participants spent a week developing ways to connect their various disciplines into powerful lessons that focus on building specific academic and intellectual skills. Their unifying theme—Community—will play out in all First Grade classes throughout the year.
Reading Across Curriculum: Grades 6 -7
(5 Faculty – 1 Week)
Lead by Amy Sheridan Potts, Lower School Learning Specialist
This group focused their discussion on the successful lower school Readers Workshop model and how it could be utilized in the Middle School to improve students' reading. As a result, the Middle School launched the DEAR event—Drop Everything And Read, when for an hour, every adult and student found something to read for pleasure.
Reading Across Curriculum: Grades 7-12
(10 Faculty – 1 Week)
Lead by Betty Sun, Upper School Learning Specialist and Aaron Cahn, Middle School Learning Secialist
Members of the science, mathematics, and humanities departments worked together to create lessons and teaching guides for faculty in grades 7-12 to incorporate reading concepts and skills across the curriculum. Additionally, the work of this group will provide in-house professional development for teachers this year through presentations and materials provided at department meetings by the participants in this institute.
Gender and Sexual Identity
(4 Faculty – 1 Week)
Lead by Lynn Levinson, Assitant Head for Student Life
Faculty worked together to create a scope and sequence for education about gender and sexual identity through our human development classes. The group created lesson plans that are being used in grades 5-10. This institute created significant changes in our grades 4-10 human development activities and introduced more intentional and careful language about both gender and sexual identity.
Deepening the Discussion about Race
(39 Faculty – 2 One-Week Sessions)
Lead by Eliza Alexander, Director of Service Learning and Holly Hinderlie, Director of Counseling
This summer initiative is designed to create an in-house, diversity training experience for Maret faculty. The primary goal of this experience is to conduct a sustained conversation about race and equity. Participants develop a deeper understanding of the history and context around race and racism in our country, in Washington, DC, and at Maret. Activities center around an exploration of participants’ personal awareness of their own perspectives on race and their impact on how they teach and lead. Additionally, faculty develop common language, a shared framework and set of tools that will impact their work at Maret.
This fall, Holly Hinderlie and Eliza Alexander shared the goals of the program and some activities of Deeping the Discussion about Race with our Maret Parents Association Diversity Committee. The event attracted over 100 parents and guardians. A recent meeting of the Board of Trustees focused on a similar program, and Marjo Talbott, along with a number of other faculty, presented at NAIS in 2016 on the subject of equity.
Faculty and Technology
The pace with which new, game changing, education-altering technology enters the market doesn’t faze Maret’s faculty. Two Instructional Technologists support teachers as they work to integrate technology into their curricula, helping them acquire the aptitude they need to incorporate the latest apps that benefit students. Regular after-school technology training sessions for teachers are voluntary, but well attended.
Large-scale conferences and 15-minute Lunchtime Lightning sessions focus on technology topics and questions raised by teachers. The School’s technology staff also oversees a 9-month mentoring program, pairing a knowledgeable and skilled staff member with a colleague who wants to become more proficient in a specific area. These teams meet once a month over the course of the school year, but can address pressing questions as they arise.