To clarify, donor's naming rights are not planned for our temporary phone booth/Johnny on the job currently residing outside of the Lower School, but we appreciate the requests. The blue structure should be removed in time to avoid Fall landscape planting.
Monday, August 6: MUS faculty and staff begins a week of In-Service on campus. Parent Camp for parents new to the MUS Lower School is this night, 5:30-6:30 p.m. in the Lower School (10 on the campus map), Dunavant Lecture Hall. All medical forms are also due.
Lower School football practice begins at 6:30 p.m. on Hull-Dobbs Field. The boys should be dressed in full gear and enter by the East Ticket Entrance, Carlisle Hospitality Center (21) off of the Lower School parking lot. Practice ends at 8:00 p.m.
Tuesday, August 7: Book sale, Ross M. Lynn Arena (19). Please park at Stokes Stadium, and enter the south door, facing the parking lot, of the Hyde Sports Center. 9-11 a.m for the seventh graders, 1-3 p.m. for the eighth graders. Boys get their schedules, locker numbers, books, and MUS bling. TAKE YOUR BOOKS HOME. Reminder: Seventh-graders get their photo taken for Owl Camp, not the formal yearbook photo. The official yearbook photo on Convovation Day, August 13.
Football practice: 6:30-8:00 p.m.
Wednesday, August 8: Football practice 6:30-8:00 a.m.
Load buses for Owl Camp at 1:00 p.m. We suggest that you arrive by 12:00 p.m. with all your bags, having eaten well and de-technologified. No electronics on the trip.
After we corral the lads and distribute the Official 2012 Class of 2018 Owl Camp T-Shirt, we'll line up boys and bags in an alphabetized, organized fashion along the cloister at the Lower School curb, put their stuff in the corresponding bus, get the meds contained and explained with Mrs. Schuhmacher, and moms and dads can go get an early date night.
Thursday, August 9: Sleep in.
Friday, August 10: Buses arrive at MUS between 3:30-4:00 p.m.
Football practice: 5:30-8:00 p.m.
Monday, August 13: Convocation Day, arrive by 8:00 a.m. at the Lower School dressed in coat and tie. Pick-up at the Lower School between 2:30 and 3:00 p.m., depending upon how the campus tours and Q+A goes. The boys will be allowed to call you and confirm pick-up time.
Tuesday, August 14: First day of classes, arrive by 8:00 a.m., regular school attire (we'll clarify attire at Parent Camp. Basically, no jeans, no sneakers, no shorts, no cargo pants. Collared shirt, tucked into long pants, secured with a belt, leather or suede shoes). Classes dismiss at 3:15 p.m.
Fall sports (cross-country and golf) will announce their practice schedules as classes begin.
All students must be gone from campus by 3:40 p.m. daily, be engaged in a sanctioned MUS extra-curricular event, or be in the After School Academic Program (ASAP). For parents wanting Junior to stay and study before pick-up, ASAP runs until 5:30 p.m. The cost is $10/day, billed monthly. Parents need not reserve space as attendance is taken daily, and there is plenty of room meeting in the Dunavant Lecture Hall. Pick-up can be at any time before 5:30 p.m. when the building is locked.
Indiana private school vouchers are being well-received by those who take advantage of the public funds aimed for citizens to use at private schools, parents seeking the best educational fit for their children. While there is controversy over public money going to non-public schools as citizens exercise some "pro-choice" schooling, the constitutionality of the effort will be the central focus of both supporters and detractors.
We live in interesting times. It's reasonable to assume that there will be multiple complex funding vehicles for an array of American educational options one day soon. Hopefully the same holds for Memphis and Shelby County students. After the votes are cast, and some dust settles and the smoke clears, maybe something better awaits our children.
By then, it'll be about all over but the shoutin'.
Recently, a family wanted to know more specifics about our overnight trek to Camp Bear Track, so we sat and talked in my office for about 30 minutes. Seeing that everyone transfers into MUS, and most transfer into our entry point at seventh grade, it's fair and reasonable that our new families want some more information before they feel comfortable allowing their son to take off out of town with us.
First, the annual Owl Camp orientation includes two overnight stays, and we rotate our location each year between Camp Bear Track and Victory Ranch. This year as we head into the Ozarks, we do so for the tenth time as the centerpiece of the MUS Owl Camp. Our track record encourages us to continue the positive experience, and exit interviews with nostalgic upperclassmen support our decision to continue the trip.
Second, since all the seventh graders matriculate into MUS from about 30 separate schools, we find that the two-day intensive creates an unparalleled setting for team-building, familiarization, and the space away from things familiar allowing for a unique stage where the boys learn to rely upon one another in a safe, challenging environment.
Third, the Camp Bear Track staff is top-notch. Their professional certification and human approachability give us confidence in their ability to secure the best possible environment. In addition, 8 faculty and administration members are present along with 12 MUS upperclassmen serving as mentors for the seventh graders, under our direct supervision.
We'll sleep in open-air cabins within close proximity to each other, we'll eat and drink a lot all day long, and we enforce the highest standards of behavior while riding up there, during our stay, and on the ride back. Absolutely no bullying or outlandish behavior will be tolerated. Violators will be sent home (you come get him), possibly even dismissed from MUS. It's that serious.
So, when we load up Wednesday, August 8 at 1:00 p.m., we'll pack up the boys' stuff onto the buses and find our seats according to a roster we make of assigned cabin groups.
Please send me an email if you require further clarification. Otherwise, we'll see you at the Parent Camp, Monday evening, August 6, 5:30 p.m.
Do flesh-and-blood teachers really matter that much to a student's learning, or can an online class deliver the message just as well? That's the question English prof. Mark Edmundson at the University of Virginia asks. He has an answer as well.
Here's an exerpt from his recent remarks that prompts me to think about life at MUS in class, for both those who teach and those who learn:
We tend to think that the spellbinding lecturers we had in college survey classes were gifted actors who could strut and fret 50 amazing minutes on the stage. But I think that the best of those lecturers are highly adept at reading their audiences. They use practical means to do this — tests and quizzes, papers and evaluations. But they also deploy something tantamount to artistry. They are superb at sensing the mood of a room. They have a sort of pedagogical sixth sense. They feel it when the class is engaged and when it slips off. And they do something about it. Their every joke is a sounding. It’s a way of discerning who is out there on a given day.
Ever heard of the Washington Post Challenge Index? A Post's education columnist, Jay Mathews, compiles data about D.C. public schools, attempting to create an objective comparison tool among their area schools. Mathews has criticized D.C. private schools, and national private schools, for their inaccessible, opaque available access to the public of their academic data. On it's face, the presentation proves compelling. To check out the 2012 stats, click here.
Well, before you seal your opinion, consider the universe of factors that affects how any student matches up with a particular school, and vice versa. I mean, how would one actually try to prove one school to be better than another? College acceptance perceived prestige? College acceptance percentage? AP scores? Athletic accomplishments? Community service outreach? National Merit? Cool sartorial stuff in the bookstore?
After a while, one comes to realize that, while there are clearly objective stats among all schools that should point to the integrity of the overall program, a simple list on an index is an incomplete, inadequate tool, neat as the concept may be.
Mathews: What do you say to parents like me who don't agree with you that that is the most important data, who think that the colleges your students get into — which often appears on your Web sites — is probably more influenced by the academic values and college pedigrees of the parents than anything the school does?
Bassett: I’d say they would be guessing instead of looking at the data.
The average SAT scores of students from all backgrounds at NAIS schools exceed the average test scores of students from other types of schools, but the margin grows significantly for students from the lowest income brackets. For students whose family incomes are less than $30,000 a year, for instance, NAIS students scored 23 percent higher on average.
Studies such as the National Education Longitudinal Study also show that low-income students who’ve attended independent schools are much more likely to succeed in college and to graduate than students from other types of schools. Why? Because these students have adjusted to the challenging academic curriculum and achievement-oriented culture of independent schools and they are well-prepared to persist and succeed in college.
This is the essence of our disagreement with your Challenge Index. Choosing a school is NOT an objective decision that can be made based on one criterion alone. It’s a subjective process that takes consideration and time.
Many people — even busy parents — spend hours researching what car to buy. Most would never think of buying a car without test-driving it… And that’s just for a car! Doesn’t it make sense to invest at least as much effort in finding the right school for one’s child?