Sharing Expertise: Professional Development this Fall

In addition to planning for classes and balancing their duties this school year, our faculty, administrators, and staff have continued their own educational journeys with professional development opportunities near and far.
English Department Chair Steve McCarty and English Teacher Sidney Tilghman recently presented at a conference hosted by the Virginia Association of Independent Schools (VAIS) in Richmond, VA. Their session focused on how standards-based learning and equity grading have been implemented in Foxcroft’s English Department, with Tilghman offering a new teacher's experience with the system and McCarty providing information about how the Department got here and how others can, too. Sharing that the Department’s standards-based learning and equity grading system is focused on what students can do once they finish a course rather than a particular content set (i.e., American Literature, British Literature, etc.), they included insight into the value of equity grading (students always have the option to revise for a higher grade) and assessing skill sets across a variety of assignments rather than grade individual "papers." 

Fine Arts Department Chair Julie Fisher and STEM Teacher and Wellness Education Coordinator Dr. Meghen Tuttle recently led a hands-on workshop at the Virginia Art Education Association (VAEA) Conference, also in Richmond. The workshop provided insights into their interdisciplinary lessons bridging the arts and sciences. The collaboration began in 2019 when they engaged students across photography and biology classes in learning the history and process of cyanotyping alongside scientific classification. Last year, students had the opportunity to teach this process to neighboring elementary students to prepare a collaborative exhibition, “The Bluest of Blues,” inspired by the cyanotype process. Those prints were displayed at the Artists in Middleburg Gallery during Youth Arts Month and promoted in Middleburg Life magazine. This year, Fisher and Tuttle coordinated a field trip to Oak Spring Garden where students created cameraless photographic pieces, including cyanotypes, lumens, and anthotypes. The art educators at the workshop created cyanotypes while brainstorming ways to bring this type of discipline-bridging and community-building project to their schools.

In October, History Department Chair and Director of The Innovation Lab Alex Northrup presented at the Annual Conference of the National Council on Geographic Education (NCGE) in Minneapolis, MN. He spoke on the “Site and Situation of Iceland” with a panel of educators who teach about Icelandic Geography. 

Head of School Cathy McGehee, Assistant Head of School Dr. Tanya Hyatt, and Dean of Students Jodi Campbell were also in attendance at the VAIS conference, and McGehee, Campbell, Dean of Residential Life Josie Ross, and Director of Communications and Marketing Bethany Stotler attended The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS) annual conference in Washington, DC, as well. These conferences and opportunities are sure to provide valuable insights that will benefit the entire Foxcroft community and the School's programming. Foxcroft's faculty and administrators participate in these opportunities throughout the year.
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An all-girls boarding and day school in Northern Virginia, Foxcroft prepares young women in grades 9-12 for success in college and in life. Our outstanding academic program offers challenging courses, including Advanced Placement classes and an innovative STEM program. Our premiere equestrian program is nationally recognized, and our athletic teams have won conference and state championships. Experience the best in girls' boarding schools: visit Foxcroft.