“What does innovation look like?” That was the question set forth by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) when they formed a task force to explore true innovation and identify schools that embody innovative and courageous thinking. And the answer that they found? Innovation looks like what we’re doing every day at The Children’s School! TCS was one of only three schools recognized as a prime example of educational innovation in action in the latest issue of the NAIS publication “Independent School.”
“I’m thrilled that our school has been recognized by NAIS,” said TCS Head of School Nishant Mehta. “Innovation is a team sport, however it requires more than that. Innovation requires what I call “It’s Still Day One” thinking and action. Our ability to approach difficult problems and execute innovative solutions requires all of us to come to the table as beginners; embrace the inevitable discomfort when we upend the traditional ways of doing things; look inward and outward for inspiration and action; and value constant iteration. Even before the first step, we must demonstrate courage. This article is a validation of our leadership, our faculty, and our mission from the largest association – and the leader of all others – representing independent schools across the United States.”
What does meaningful innovation look like in schools, the magazine asks?
- A deliberate approach to innovation
- A real understanding of themselves
- A head of school who is deeply engaged in the process and who empowers purposely developed teams to make the vision a reality
- The ability to seize moments that can be considered “start-up opportunities”
Calling the key to our success “the courage to innovate,” the article cites TCS’s new sixth-grade project-based learning immersion as one example of how TCS is leading the pack.
The article explains how at TCS we “see the activity, not as an add-on, service learning program, but rather as the core of the learning process – with the lessons in civics, history, math, science, etc. flowing outward from the students’ experiences.”
The article also highlights TCS’s creation of the Innovator’s Playground at the Atlanta Maker Faire and our collaborative learning projects with the International Rescue Committee as other innovative endeavors.
“In his 2012 annual letter to the Gates Foundation, Bill Gates shared that ‘innovation is the means and equity is the end goal.’ Education is our best hope for the creation of a just and inclusive society,” said Nishant. “Innovation and inclusivity are not separate means or goals for us at TCS; they are at the core of our mission, vision and values. Next year, we expect to expand on our current initiatives and with the launch of seventh and eighth grades in the next two years, TCS will capture the local, regional and national stages with its emphasis on childhood, innovation, and inclusivity.”