This year's new schedule features design studio periods for all students on the Fridays of "Green" weeks. This year, we will use those studio periods to teach students the phases and mindsets of "design thinking," a process for creative problem-solving. Starting by truly understanding the wants and needs of users and then using techniques such as brainstorming and prototyping, our students will learn how to design creative and meaningful solutions to the user's problems. During the design studio periods, we will learn, among other things, to empathize, manage ambiguity, deal with failure, and give and receive feedback.

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With apologies to the Julian calendar, September—not January—marks the start of a new year for me. Rather than make resolutions (which too often are not kept), I encourage you and your child to set academic (strength of mind) and personal (strength of character) goals for the upcoming year. Some of the keys to successful goal setting include identifying realistic and motivating goals, writing them down, making an action plan and revisiting them periodically. When done well, setting goals provides long-term vision and short-term motivation. 

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