Feb 192014
 
This entry is part 39 of 43 in the series Principal's Notes

Open House
The Open House has been moved to Tuesday, February, 25th. from 6-8 p.m.

Global Scholars Program

Last week, the freshmen, sophomore, and junior classes attended an assembly to learn about a new initiative, the Global Scholars Program.  I have included an article that will be featured in the upcoming issue of the district newspaper, the Barometer (see below).  The article details the genesis of the Global Scholars Program.  In addition, it provides detailed information about some exciting international travel opportunities beginning next spring.  For anyone interested in the 2015 trips, we are holding an informational night on Thursday,  February 27th in the high school Black Box Theater.  The presentation will begin at 6:00pm.

For additional information please follow the links below. The first link will bring you to the Global Scholars Program page on our website.  There you will find all necessary information including, but not limited to, our mission, EF Tours, and 2015 international travel opportunities (Pending School Committee approval).  In addition, you will find a website specific to each of our customized trips.   Lastly, I have included a link to a brief survey attempting to gauge interest in the international trips. Said survey can also be found on the Global Scholars Program page.

http://bit.ly/GlobalScholarsProgram

http://bit.ly/GDGlobalScholarsSurvey

 

Global Scholars Initiative

By Michael Mastrullo

In an era of globalization, are we doing enough to expose our students to different cultures, traditions, customs, and languages?  How do we prepare them to be responsible, competitive citizens of the global world?  With these questions in mind, we formed a think-tank at GDRHS.  Not only are we striving to answer these questions, but we are also looking to develop creative ways to increase student exposure to the interconnected, globalized world they were born into.

The Global Scholars Committee is comprised of teachers and administrators who meet weekly to discuss and create solutions to the questions posed above.  Globalization has transformed the world that we live in; politics, business, culture, and labor trends have all been impacted deeply by globalization.  Surely, international politics, trade, and cultural interactions have transpired long before the term globalization was coined, but never on such a grand scale.  Improved communications and the ease of travel, the advent of multinational corporations, global trade and interconnected economies have all contributed to this unprecedented expansion of globalization.  As it touches all facets of our lives, as it expands seemingly unabated, as it makes the world seem smaller, we are forced to consider what part, however small, we can play in making sure globalization becomes a positive force in the world.

Hosting International Students

Students from around the globe gravitate to the United States for a higher education.  International students are eager to start this process before college, and we have capitalized on this opportunity.  For the past two years, GD has hosted international students who arrive hungry to absorb American culture and experience a typical American high school experience.   More than thirty international students have enrolled at GD over the past two years.  Although they are only with us for a year, they make our school more diverse while sharing an international perspective.  They have a positive impact on both students and staff.  We view this as one small contribution not only to the diversification of GD, but also to the development of positive, long lasting relationships between future leaders.

International Travel

We are looking to expand our borders at GD by providing meaningful opportunities for international travel.  We are currently developing a four- year travel proposal with the noble ambition of providing all students with a realistic opportunity to travel abroad during their high school career.  These international trips will be thematically based with focuses on: Service Learning, Leadership, and Cultural and Language Immersion.  Certainly all trips will allow students to benefit from the local sites, experience new customs and languages, and explore amazing cities; however, we are also looking to delve deeper into cultures.  Cultural and language immersion trips will allow students to interact with local students and families while enhancing their foreign language skills through interactions with native speakers.  Each day is built around a different theme that ties together daily language classes, cultural activities, and interactions with locals.

Service Learning trips will give students the ability to make a positive impact in a local community. Next February will be our first annual service learning trip as we embark on a memorable experience in Peru.  In addition to taking in the breathtaking sights and sounds from atop the mighty Andes, students will volunteer at a local school, participate in local agricultural projects, and discover the ancient traditional weaving techniques, used to this day, with the guidance of community members.

Global Student Leadership Summits bring young leaders together from around the world to inspire and prepare them to solve the global challenges of today—and the future. This experience will create a forum for students to strengthen their skills of creativity, innovation, and adaptability.  Assistant high school principal, Marisa Brisson, will soon accompany nine future leaders on a trip to China with these goals in mind.  In addition to these trips, we are eagerly pursing exchange programs with several potential opportunities in the works.  For detailed information on these trips, please visit the high school website, or contact me at the high school.

Hosting international students, expanding international travel, partaking in exchange programs, are only a few ways that we intend to expose the students of GD to the world.  The Global Scholars Committee has just begun the work.  As we put the finishing touches on our travel plans, it is our goal to expand the mission of the group.  As we increase the size of the committee to include additional staff members and students, we are eager for fresh insights and ideas that will expand student exposure to the world.

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