7 Things Principal Dunn is Excited About This School Year

Robust Student Leadership
About 40 student leaders attended our student leadership conference in July. These students are doing a lot of work on crafting the community they want – calling us all to be more authentic and powerful in our virtues work and building community. These students are team captains, student council members, peer tutors, peer ministers, among other things. They are doing different things, but they are sharing their vision of how they want to get more students involved in shaping Carroll and leaving a legacy for future students to follow. They’re all really excited and working hard. It’s great to see that.

New Class Schedule
We are rolling out an entirely new daily schedule this year. In the past, we had a very traditional schedule, which included 7 class periods that the students attended every day at the same time. This summer, we crafted a new schedule that’s a little more in line with what we currently know about best practices – especially as it relates to the brain chemistry of young learners. This school year, every day classes will be in a slightly different order than the day before, but there will be a pattern to it. So there’s a lot more variety. Classes will rotate every day, and there will be some longer periods. This new schedule will give teachers a chance to be more creative in the classroom and keep our students more engaged.

New Engineering Program
Our new Engineering Program is a BIG change for us and I’m excited that we’ve started it. About 30 students will be participating in the Engineering Program this year – about half are freshman and half are sophomores. They will all take Into to Engineering Design this fall. This course is super engaging and very hands-on. This program is a big undertaking and it’s really going to push us in some new directions. We’ll be doing some interesting things with Physics and Math, and the students will grow as a cohort. Next year they’ll take Principles of Engineering and the following year we’ll get to choose what our specialty will be. It may be a course like Computer Graphics, Civil Engineering, or Aerospace Engineering. Our students will doing a lot practical, real-world learning by participating in the program. They’ll be trained to be thinkers and problem-solvers. And it fits really nicely with what we’re doing with the IB program.

Growth in Athletics
There have been a lot of new projects undertaken in our Athletics department over the last 6-8 months. We have a great new football coach, Coach Harris. We started a new sport last spring with boys volleyball, and we’re starting a cross-country team this fall. Many students have been here training and working out really hard all summer. It’s gotten me very excited about the start of the fall seasons. I think we’re going to have a really good year. The students have a very positive outlook and are really committed. I can’t wait to see them out there competing.

An Expanding International Community

We’ve been thinking about how we can take advantage of the wealth of cultures that we have within our community. It makes a lot of sense at an IB school. There are a lot of families within the Carroll community that have either a student or a parent born in another country, so we’re reaching out more to them as a way to expand opportunities for not only communication, but also for celebration of different traditions and cultures. This year we’ll also have several new students who are participating in our International Exchange Program for Asian Students – a student from Vietnam and several students from China.

Building Renovations Underway

I’m very excited about all of the renovations that our school will complete this year – new floors in the hallways and stairwells, new ceilings in three classrooms on the third floor, a new wifi network, a new chapel; and plans are underway for renovating one of the ladies' bathrooms and the front entrance. I’m most excited about the floors! The renovations are so important because our students are working so hard and we are calling them be excellent and pursue success relentlessly; and it is really gratifying for them to have a space that is exciting and feels excellent in its own right.

“Walk with Francis”

I’m extremely excited about Pope Francis’ visit to Washington, DC in September. It’s not about Carroll, but I’m ecstatic about it. Our school is located in the vicinity, so I hope our students get a chance to experience part of it.