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.
- 73% have advanced degrees
- 38% are persons of color
- 30% have 10+ years at Maret
- 10 years average tenure
- 9 are alumni
- Serve as advisors 5th–12th grades
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.
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.
- Case Institute Goals
- The Program
- Project Highlights 2018
- Project Highlights 2017
- Project Highlights 2016
- Project Highlights 2015
- 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 2018 Summer Case Institute, in its tenth year, included 35 faculty members working on five different institutes.
Attention and Learning Challenges: Lower School
Faculty Participants: 9
The goal of this course was to learn more about the most common learning and attention challenges our Lower School students face. Our teachers often seek more information on the signs and symptoms, as well as strategies to support students, in order to make our classrooms more equitable and inclusive learning environments. Over the course of the week they learned about dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, ADHD, and anxiety. Through readings, videos, discussions, and guest speakers they increased their background knowledge of these topics. Additionally, they looked closely at Maret’s curriculum and teaching practices and made changes based on our newfound knowledge.
Two big initiatives grew out of this work: a new Kindergarten language program (Fundations) and a new K-4 reading assessment (Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment). Teachers have been receiving training in these programs and will continue to throughout the school year.
Academic Anxiety: Across All Three Divisions
Faculty Participants: 13
The goal of this institute was to continue the work being done around Wellness, focusing specifically on academic anxiety. We seek to continue to strengthen the program in terms of identifying, educating and managing student anxiety, which includes work with our students, faculty, and families. By gathering key educators from all three divisions, we were able to make decisions about how to move forward, both for next year and in the long term.
Elements of Faculty training, Parent Communication and Education, K-12, and division specific work were determined and put into place. This work is ongoing.
Adapting the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines to the Lower School Spanish Program
Faculty Participants: 3
The intent of this institute was to improve student engagement and success in foreign language studies through the learning process in the Lower School Spanish program, focused on the following:
- Customizing the performance descriptors in order to fit the student’s developmental stage, while reviewing the content of the learning, and the targeted proficiency level of the Lower School students.
- Implementing a strategy and plan for the use of the customized performance descriptors to promote student proficiency, motivation, and self-assessment.
- Creating rubrics to guide students as they learn how to self-assess and take ownership of the learning process.
- Revising the report card checklist to reflect the proficiency benchmarks that were established.
Community Engagement and Partnership
Faculty Participants: 6
This institute provided an opportunity for the Lower School homeroom teachers to develop Community Engagement and Partnership grade-wide programs with a focus on how to develop a shared understanding about applying social justice and racial identity development lenses to community engagement work. Work was also done to build the 7th grade service program and deepen the 8th grade science program and the climate conference, through the development of a community engagement program. Additionally, it was a good opportunity for Maret’s outgoing director to transfer knowledge of the current K-12 Community Engagement and Partnership programming to Maret’s new Director for Community Engagement and Partnerships.
Human Development: Middle School
Faculty Participants: 4
This institute took an in depth look at the Middle School Human Development curriculum. Broken down by grade, participants addressed the key issues to be discussed with the students moving beyond a traditional curriculum to include a study of gender identity, bullying, race and racism, privilege, anxiety, and mental health awareness.
The 2017 Summer Case Institute, in its ninth year, included 45 faculty members working on six different institutes.
Technology Curriculum: K-8
Faculty Participants: 4
The goals of this institute focused on technology in Kindergarten through eighth grade. The group began by examining the existing technology curriculum scope and sequence. As gaps and needless repetitions were discovered in the curriculum, a determination was made regarding what should be added and what should be removed. A comprehensive plan for all K-8 technology classes for the 2017-18 school year was established.
Lower School Writing
Faculty Participants: 7
Grade level teams worked together to examine the new Writing Workshop Units of Study for their grade levels and then worked together across grade levels to ensure vertical alignment. The group additionally studied the different structural components of Writing Workshop in order to deepen their understanding and strengthen their practice.
Teachers have been implementing units this fall and will soon reconvene to reflect upon the implementation. The group shared their work at a homeroom teacher language arts meeting in the beginning of the school year.
Chemistry: Grades 8 and 10
Faculty Participants: 5
The goal of this institute was to reimagine what Chem Study—the general introductory level chemistry course at Maret—should look like, in order to better engage the full spectrum of students enrolled. During this institute, the participants worked to develop a new
Sequence and overall content focus for Chem Study based on their evaluation of what chemistry topics all students should learn to be informed citizens and to prepare them for more advanced science courses. A new sequence of chemistry topics was created that more evenly develops the various quantitative, conceptual, laboratory, and theoretical skills of students throughout the entire year.
Math: Middle School
Faculty Participants: 5
The Middle School Math institute worked to develop a balanced, differentiated curriculum geared toward all of our students with built-in support and accelerated units providing an equitable system of access to our advanced and accelerated mathematics program.
A set of coherent, inquiry-based curriculum units were to be developed so that active, hands-on labs could be coupled with technologies (Desmos, data collection and other tech resources) that support the goals. Additionally, a wide variety of assessments were designed and created that are available and accessible to all students. The final goal was to create some skill-based remedial and accelerated co-units to complement our core seventh and eighth grade curriculums.
K–12 Tech Bootcamp
Faculty Participants: 7
The bootcamp was an intensive program for participating faculty to gain new technology skills, with an eye to using their newly gained skills to improve the use of technology in their classes.
Each day had a different focus with project-/problem-based learning to learn and practice the skills introduced each day. There was a “workshop” component as well, and each afternoon the individual participants presented to each other what they had created during the daily challenge period. Time was provided at the end of the first four days and most of the final day for participants to work on their individual technology projects/goals. On the final day, each faculty member presented their work on their individual projects during the workshop period.
Faculty Participants: 17
The goal of this institute were to build upon Maret’s current wellness programming to create a more comprehensive and cohesive wellness approach throughout the K-12 co-curricular program. The institute relied on key external expertise to inform, inspire, and guide out teachers work. These resources included:
- A detailed study and school report from leading school consultant and physchologist, Catherine Steiner Adair;
- A session with EAB’s national strategic researcher, Erin Rehel, on researched best practices on student wellness;
- A four-day Conference at Potomac School, which 13 faculty participants attended, with the aim of equipping a broader team of faculty with SEL training to bring back to Maret.
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.