Enthusiasm coursed through the King community gathered at the Performing Arts Center for the annual State of the School event on September 23. Despite the rain and social distancing, the message was clear: The state of the school is great, and learning at King School is centered around inquiry.
“King has managed to stay relevant throughout its long history because it evolves, adapts to the needs of the times, and understands that – as our mission states – students need to be prepared for a rapidly changing world,” Board Chair Thomas King P’20 ’20 ’23 said. “King takes this responsibility seriously. Both our mission and our strategic vision reflect that commitment to you.”
King’s presentation included a progress report on the school’s Strategic Plan, a financial overview of the school, an update on the Head of School search, and an introduction to King’s Interim Head of School, Carol Maoz.
Maoz highlighted the importance of creativity and curiosity in the development of an inquisitive mindset. “Kids of any age can be innovators. Curiosity involves asking questions, finding answers, and creating solutions as well as not being afraid of failure,” she said. “It is essential to discovering more about the world, dealing with anxiety and obstacles, and being resilient.”
Inquiry as a foundation of research and learning was repeatedly underlined throughout the evening. “When we use the term ‘research’ in our Strategic Plan, we are challenging our students of all ages to problem-solve, to search, and then research for answers to complex problems,” Maoz said.
Marnie Sadlowsky, Associate Head for Strategic Programs and Head of Upper School, emphasized King’s inquiry-based approach to teaching and learning.
“Research is a mindset. It’s a posture; it’s an approach to teaching and learning that is cultivated from the Reggio-Emilia program all the way through the high school years,” said Sadlowsky.
After the presentation, attendees joined divisional breakout sessions led by Head of Upper School Marnie Sadlowsky, Head of Middle School Dr. Josh Deitch, and Head of Lower School Dr. Sandy Lizaire-Duff accompanied by faculty speakers Nicholas DeFelice, Dr. Victoria Schulman, Ian Lear-Nickum, Dr. Gilles Chosson, Lindsay Chiodi, Ken Lewis, Jennifer Agro, and Hannah Robbertz. The purpose of the breakout sessions was to offer parents a glimpse into inquiry-based learning by divisions and help them experience how this concept comes alive in every King School classroom.
Heavy rain at the end of the evening did not deter families from enjoying the opportunity to gather once again as a community and enjoy the delicious hors d'oeuvres and refreshments served at a tented reception in the PAC courtyard.
Videos of the State of the School presentations are available on the King School website.