New Student Orientation Q&A
Below you will find a Q&A about New Student Orientation with Ben Croucher, George School’s NSO director, project-based learning faculty specialist, and history department head.
What are the goals of New Student Orientation?
We have redesigned the program to better welcome new students and prepare them for George School life. With all new students taking part, we will create an inclusive community right from the start. Over the week, students will learn skills and approaches that will help them thrive here. We will ask them to think across disciplines, to consider how they learn, and ultimately to answer the framing question: How is this NSO going to help me shine at George School?
What kinds of activities will there be?
Since we believe in educating students in mind, body, and spirit, the week will include academic, physical, and spiritual components. An overarching academic project will include time spent in the classroom, in small groups, and in independent work. Varsity athletes will have preseason practice with their teams, while others will take part in outdoor challenges, which will build not only physical fitness, but also teamwork, confidence, and problem-solving skills. Orientation will start and end with Meeting for Worship, an essential part of our culture as a Friends school.
What will the academic component be like?
Using a project-based learning approach, students will explore the HIV/AIDS crisis—from investigating policy to learning about epidemiology to considering issues of equity and inclusion. In addition to classroom time, students will meet in small groups with upperclass student leaders and create multimedia presentations for judging. (The winners will receive a credit at Bettye’s Place, the campus snack bar.) The project is typical of George School. It will encourage thinking across disciplines, will blend real-world and traditional means of learning including study hall and homework, and will help students improve their academic skills, from research to lab work, close reading to collaboration.
What will students do for fun?
Students will make friends with their new classmates through weekend activities, including vans to local destinations and activities planned by the NSO student leaders, who know what George School students love to do. We’ll also take great advantage of George School’s 240 acres with outdoor time, a ropes course, and fun challenges.
How can parents take part?
Parents have their own orientation discussions on opening day, whereupon they, too, can adjust to the rhythm of George School life.
What will the new student orientation do for students?
Beyond serving as a week of training for life on campus, the NSO will enhance students’ entire George School experience.
To history teacher Ben, a good education is more than academic.