Mr. Hood's Message on Learning at Madison

April 24, 2020

Dear Madison Community, 

While so much has changed about our lives over the past month, one thing has remained constant: we are incredibly proud to be a part of the James Madison High School community. Our faculty has embraced the challenges that have come with distance learning, shifting their plans sometimes overnight to meet the needs of students. Our students have shown resilience and commitment to their education, engaging in new modes of learning, and showing up for each other like never before. 

Our common understanding of Deeper Learning has taken on a new meaning for our staff as we embark on our new journey of distance learning: Deeper Learning goes beyond the surface and provides opportunities for all learners to collaborate and innovate to find meaning and make connections in real-world, relevant, and authentic experiences that unlock our individual passions and collective joy. Our school’s focus on Deeper Learning has never been more relevant, and the questions that have inspired our focus ring true now more than ever: How can we design meaningful learning experiences that engage students beyond grades? Which skills are most important and relevant for our students to learn? What do we want Madison students to be like as adults?

Since Spring Break our students and teachers have enacted each aspect of Deeper Learning across our virtual school community. We are proud to highlight a few examples of Deeper Learning through Distance Learning with you. 

  • Ms. VanPelt, our Family & Consumer Science Teacher, is collaborating with colleagues across the county to film food demonstrations videos for students to view and try out at home. Check out this week’s video featuring Grilled Wings & Jalapeno Poppers
  • Mr. Gongaware & Ms. Sarfati’s AP Environmental Science students celebrated Earth Day through the use of two digital tools: FlipGrid and PadLet. Students created “chalk drawings” representing the effects of air pollution on the environment, and shared images celebrating their favorite outdoor spaces. 
  • Scroll through more examples of how distance learning is happening across Madison here.

We can’t say enough how inspired we are by the persistence of both our faculty and our students since the school closure, and we are thankful for the support you give to our school. We hope you and your families are healthy and safe. The Madison faculty is here for you; we miss you, and we look forward to connecting with all of you throughout the rest of the school year.

Gregory S. Hood, Principal