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{our town community}




addock by Michael Cr

Reaping Dividends from a New Merger: Classrooms + Community One of the most important words in

We placed priorities on the four “Cs”—

public education today is “authenticity.”

creativity, critical thinking, collaboration

Across our nation, educators are





searching for the magic formula that

a fifth, community. We saw students

will ensure lifelong success. To truly be

being introduced to an approach that

relevant, the boundaries of instruction

emphasized design thinking, a systems-

need to expand outside the classroom.

based approach instead of one that was

The more the learning environment

task-based. We saw students’ active

resembles the real world, the more

listening capabilities mature to make

likely students will excel.

them fully integrated members of a team.

In Albemarle County Public Schools,

We’re in the process of debriefing

we tested this concept in a pilot program

participants in the “Project Pool” to learn

this summer, called “Project Pool.” We

how we can adjust the pilot program

identified five projects that would benefit

into one that fully functions year-round

from the perspective and imagination of

across all five of our high schools.

high school students—the design of an

Our objective is to be able to provide

elementary school’s summer program;

every student who is interested in an

a business’ marketing campaign; the

internship with an opportunity to add

remodeling of a UVA research lab; the

such a valuable credential to their high

redesign of a middle school’s creativity

school transcript.

classroom; and the planning of a maker camp for young children.

Programs in other parts of the country, such as “Iowa Big,” which was

The program had several important

a model for us, have demonstrated that

objectives. We wanted our partners to

innovation in the high-school experience

succeed in meeting their challenges

not only builds strong graduates but

and to recognize today’s high school

supports strong communities. Having

students are capable, thoughtful and,

a cadre of energetic, thoughtful and

bottom-line, focused. We did not want

service-oriented young men and women

students to be bystanders. We thought

helping to meet the needs of local



organizations and businesses is one of

from their experiences, especially in

the highest returns on investment that

acquiring the soft skills that so often

a school-community partnership can

define success in the workplace.





Michael is in his 15th year as an Albemarle County Public Schools educator. His current responsibilities include the division’s virtual learning program and its initiative to develop work-based learning opportunities in all secondary schools.


September 2017

Virginia’s New All-Time Leading Goal Scorer Joe Robertson, a 2017 graduate from St. Anne’s-Belfield School, now holds Virginia’s all-time leading goal scorer record for lacrosse. Recently recognized as a member of the inaugural All-LaxRecords Team, he joins other athletes who have broken a record on their school’s team, as well as at the state and national level throughout their high school athletic career. Finishing his high-school career with 222 career goals aids him in graduating as the most decorated player in the school’s history. In addition, Robertson ended his final season with 100 goals and is now part of the best-known season at St. Anne’s-Belfield in state history. Aside from him capturing other honors—VISAA Players of the Year, Prep League Player of the Year and Central Virginia Player of the Year—his #27 was retired at the conclusion of the season. Robertson plans to carry his talents over to Duke University this semester.

CharlottesvilleFamily's BLOOM September 2017  

Volume 18 Issue 9

CharlottesvilleFamily's BLOOM September 2017  

Volume 18 Issue 9