April 12, 2019

Mini Musings- Why we RIPL

by Jim Brewer, Head of School

When I first discovered the McGillis School, I read about this “program” called RIPL. RIPL was a demonstration to me that McGillis was thinking about what education should look like today and into the future. The idea was in its infancy and the conversation was just getting started. Having come from an older, traditional school that had reinvented itself entirely over the past decade, I was excited to arrive at a school where this conversation about the relevance of teaching and learning today, and what it will require for our future, was underway.

RIPL has been an idea discussed and explored by the Board and faculty over for the past few years. All schools are recognizing that they must adapt approaches to meet the needs of our future. We think about RIPL as a way of approaching problems, lessons, unit design, and any opportunity at the school, inside and outside of classrooms.

Implementing a co-teacher model, incorporating integrative studies, or revamping the Gala are all things that RIPL influences. We take big and small initiatives, and think about how we approach them from a research angle, an innovation angle, we play with ideas, and we learn and reflect on our experiences.

On Thursday, 4/11, we introduced the 411 on RIPL for our parent community. Our goal was to inform parents about what RIPL is, and feel inspired that we are a school that incorporates RIPL in our work with students.

Our teachers are the owners and designers of our students’ experience. Over our professional learning days, we’re playing with the ideas of RIPL, we’re discussing how it influences our current and future approaches to teaching, and we’re celebrating the risks that we’re taking as we adapt our curriculum and program to increase relevance and student-driven learning.

This event was intentionally different. We aimed to create an experience that mimics a process of learning we incorporate in our classrooms. Thanks to all who attended. Thank you for your enthusiasm and engagement, and for celebrating your learning and community building. Let’s look forward to future events that incorporate RIPL and celebrate and build community.