View Full Version : Manhattan-Downtown George Davison Focuses on Community at Grace Church School

02-27-2012, 08:36 AM
From DNAinfo.com (http://www.dnainfo.com/20120227/lower-east-side-east-village/george-davison-focuses-on-community-at-grace-church-school) by Julie Shapiro:

School, Davison is overseeing a major expansion as the 118-year-old institution launches its first ninth-grade class in a nearby Cooper Square campus this fall.

Q: How did you decide to work at Grace Church School?

A: I was very excited by what we were doing here. We defy definition. It's traditional, there are uniforms, there are traditional outcomes that are expected but it's not a school that believes there's a single way to teach. What we want teachers to do is adjust how they teach to how students learn. That's not the way everyone operates. Some say, "Here's the standard, now come and meet it." We're saying, "Here's the standard, let's figure out how to get you there."

Q: What else makes the Grace Church School unique?

A: It is a community first and a school second. It is a community that is diverse and inclusive. It's not a country club community. It is a community of the city. The other key piece that makes this place exciting is that it's a value-spearheaded community. Not only do we talk about values, but we live by those values. What we were talking about today [for George Washington's birthday] was faith, loyalty, resilience and persistence, but it can be honesty, it can be inclusion, it can be tolerance.

Q: This fall, Grace Church School will begin offering a high school program. What are your thoughts on that?

A: We're taking the same mission and implementing it at a different level. We're going to go with 80-minute periods instead of 40-minute periods. We're also going to change the nature of homework. Too much of homework is processing, and too little is thinking. We want a lot of the processing to go on in class, when the teacher is there. And one day out of every five is a lab day, where instead of studying theory, you're going to apply it in reality. It could be going to a park and planting the plants you studied in biology class, or it could be going to the Stock Exchange and seeing the way numbers are used.

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Emily Glickman
02-28-2012, 05:49 PM
Grace Church School's high school program is unproven--always a challenge when you're dealing with savvy and demanding Manhattan parents. Grace families and others thinking about applying from outside want to understand exactly how the program will run and where students will get into college. The stakes are high when you're starting a high school. Just like new school Avenues, Grace needs to prove its know-how.

For more about Grace Church school:

Grace Church High School Has at Least 4 Innovative Ideas (http://www.abacusmom.com/abacus_mom/2011/08/grace-church-high-school-shaking-it-up.html)

Is Grace Church Trying to Be Trinity School? (http://www.abacusmom.com/abacus_mom/2011/09/is-grace-church-trying-to-be-trinity-school.html)