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Education is the pathway to the future ― and innovation is integral to paving that road. That’s why schools have a critical role to play in nurturing innovation and in harnessing its power to take us where we never thought possible.

Dwight is proud to play that role for students and faculty, encouraging them to imagine a better world today. Thanks to the support of The Dwight School Foundation, we have launched the Spark of Innovation Program to provide resources, both financial and in the form of mentors, to help take ideas for new products, businesses, public policy, and social enterprises with real-world applications from the drawing board into the marketplace.

While leading universities have created such programs in support of start-ups by entrepreneurs at the college level, we want to bring the same opportunity to students at a much younger age when imaginations know no boundaries. The Spark of Innovation Program is designed for students beginning in kindergarten through grade 12, who think outside the box and envision a better world.
 
I see hundreds of glowing embers of possibilities in Dwight students, and every day and I am reminded that if they can imagine it, we as educators owe students the chance to help make it happen. Thanks to The Dwight School Foundation and its supporters, we’re on a path to nurturing innovation beyond the classroom on a level previously unimaginable. I invite you to watch the Spark of Innovation video here to learn more.
Our campus, usually quiet on weekends, was bustling with activity last Saturday when Dwight hosted the first-ever Edcamp dedicated to the International Baccalaureate. Bringing teachers together to talk about what matters most to them ― teaching ― the event drew nearly 100 participants. 
 
Edcamp is a form of unconference. Unlike traditional conferences, which have pre-set speakers, Edcamp unconferences are driven by attendees, who create the agenda at the start of the event, and anyone can be a presenter. They’re free and built on principles of participatory learning. With no formal planning aside from logistics, several Dwight faculty members, alongside attendees from other IB schools, led lively discussions about teaching and learning across the full IB continuum. 
 
Sessions ranged from practical classroom application (“Scaffolding through Thinking Maps,” “Interactive Fictions across Disciplines,” and “Diploma Program Film ― Why?”); and the theoretical (“Chinese Identity through Culture” and “Creative Ways of Using Technology in the Primary Years Program”); to the administrative (“IB Administrators Discussion” and “Assessment in the IB”). In addition, there were hands-on sessions about 3D printing.
 
“Participants were excited and eager to share in a format that put them in charge of their own learning. Being able to suggest session topics and freely move among sessions are the hallmarks of any Edcamp event,” reports Basil Kolani, Head of Technology and Innovation at Dwight, and one of the lead organizers of Edcamp IB. “I’m pleased that hosting the event at Dwight provided other educators with a peek into all the exciting and great things happening every day on our campus, while giving our faculty a chance to learn alongside other IB teachers dedicated to improving their craft.”

Dianne Drew, Head of School, was delighted that Dwight hosted the first Edcamp IB and that so many teachers from grades 1-12 were drawn to see how new methodologies, technology, up-skilling, inquiry, and collaboration can be utilized to motivate students in the classroom setting. She reports, “Edcamp IB was a great day to share IB practice and curriculum innovation with IB practitioners and other educators, who have heard so much positive discussion about this thriving, global curriculum. The event was both a great showcase for the outstanding work and IB expertise of Dwight faculty and an opportunity for Dwight faculty to learn together with others in the spirit of the IB Learner Profile, exemplifying what it means to be knowledgeable, open-minded, caring, reflective, principled, balanced, thinkers, inquirers, communicators, and risk-takers.”

As the first school in the Americas to offer all four IB programs (the Primary Years Program, Middle Years Program, Diploma Program, and Career-related Program), Dwight was pleased to welcome Paul Campbell, Head of Regional Development for IB of the Americas, to Edcamp IB. Ms. Drew shares that “Dwight’s foray into the Edcamp model is just another example of our School’s dedication to innovation and the desire to collaborate with like-minded educators in order to spark the passion of learning for both students and teachers alike.”
 
Check out our Edcamp IB album here.
 
On Friday, April 10, The Dwight School Foundation hosted it's annual Spring Benefit at 583 Park Avenue. Over 400 members of the Dwight community came together to support student financial aid, faculty professional development, and the new Spark of Innovation Program. The night was fun-filled with dinner, dancing, a lively auction, and a special video about the new Spark of Innovation Program. Click here to watch the video and click here to see pictures from Friday night.
 
Thank you to the entire Dwight community for making the 2015 Spring Benefit such a memorable evening. To learn more about The Dwight School Foundation and how you can help, please visit www.dwight.edu/dwightschoolfoundation.
Returning to her home city of Melbourne, Australia, Head of Dwight School Dianne Drew was on familiar turf when she joined a panel of international education leaders for the inaugural conference of The Centre for Educational Enterprise (CEE). The CEE, which is based at Melbourne Girls Grammar School, is spearheaded by women.

Entitled “Future Fusion: The Confluence of Health and Education,” the conference brought together internationally recognized players in both fields to create a continuum of practice between the two, and to identify innovations and technologies that can transform health and education services on an international level for the future.

As head of an innovative international school, Ms. Drew was part of a lively discussion about innovative schools and student well-being under the umbrella topic of “What’s trending for young people — and are we up to the challenge?” She shared Dwight’s unique international experience as a global network of schools and the IB perspective of seeing all attributes of a student holistically as the key to a child’s success.

“It was a privilege for me to represent the innovative work our school excels in — from in-depth advisory and like-skills programming, to cross-campus global connectivity and personalized learning opportunities,” says Ms. Drew. “Fellow educators are eager to see what American and international schools are focusing on to meet the challenges our youth present to us, particularly in the tech-dominated society in which they are growing up. I was equally eager to hear what other schools are doing to address this need and proud to acknowledge that Dwight pushes the boundaries of conventional thinking to meet students at all the various levels they require. Flexibility, resiliency, and the ability to listen as educators — really listen to students — are what our youth today demand, and Dwight certainly has exceptional faculty that provide that day in and day out.”

As Dwight continues to be a prominent force in global education and with her recent appointment on the IB Heads Council, our Head of School is being invited more and more to present at a variety of educational conferences and workshops both here in the United States and around the world.
Founded in 1872 and located in New York City, Dwight is a leading private international school. The first school in the Americas to offer all four International Baccalaureate programs

for students in preschool through grade 12, Dwight is dedicated to igniting the spark of genius in every child.
Dwight School   291 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024-3002   Phone: 212.724.6360