WellesleyWeston Magazine

WINTER 2016-2017

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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114 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | w i n t e r 2 0 1 6 / 2 0 1 7 dent, Noah Stein, credits Evolutions for helping students develop inter- personal intelligence, stating, "The thing that surprised me most was how well the juniors and seniors in the program got along. Because I interacted with students from different grades on a daily basis, Evolutions helped me develop friendships that would never have hap- pened." Tess Buckley, also a participant in the program, demonstrates her intrapersonal or self-reflective skills when she states, "I was excited every morning to get to school and be with incredibly positive people. And, I loved not feeling drained after school." Becky Georgenes, a mother of an Evolutions student, expresses a parent's reaction to a stu- dent's new-found exuberance for learning. "Nearly every day, my son came home from school excited to tell me about what he learned. We talked more about school than we had in the rest of his high school years combined. Evolutions was pivotal in giving Bobby confidence in his ability to learn, work with others, be creative, and achieve." An Approach Growing in Popularity The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) highlights that teenagers intuitively understand the benefits of an inter- disciplinary approach in their written materials, "The adolescent begins to realize that in real life we encounter problems and situations, gather data from all of our resources, and generate solutions. The fragmented school does not reflect this reality." With numerous research reports documenting positive educational outcomes for students in inte- grated studies—such as the exhaustive "Logic of Interdisciplinary Studies" report completed almost 20 years ago—interdisciplinary programs are gaining traction across the country. In the spirit of continuous improvement, the Evolutions faculty "evolved" the program for the 2016/2017 school year based on what went well and what needed to be improved. Nonetheless, Hall expresses her desire for Evolutions to stay true to its mission. "I think some par- ents have been misinformed by false characterizations that it's all about arts and crafts. Evolutions has been highly rigorous, just not in the same context as traditional high school classes. It's not about tests and grades. It's about delving deep into subjects and producing a tangible represen- tation of knowledge gained," she says. Change or no change, Lazaro expresses, "Principal Dr. Jamie Chisum should be credited immensely for bringing this valuable alternative to Wellesley High School." Respect and Knowledge Evolutions students behind the commemorative bench they created for Wellesley High School war veterans. l to r: Eoin Shea, Caroline Lane, Tiger Mar, Chris Sullivan, Eliza Keene, Brian Baker, and teacher Emily Shapero

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