Low Plaza

New K-8 School at Columbia Launches Informative Website

By Lauren Marshall

"Little Leo" the lion welcomes visitors on The School's website.

The School at Columbia University, a University-affiliated K-8 School, which opens to children in kindergarten through fourth grade in fall 2003, has launched a new interactive website, reflecting the new media innovation that will be an integral part of its teaching and learning environment. By browsing the site, parents of prospective students, future teachers and the students themselves can learn more about The School's mission and perspective on education, admissions process, grade size and tuition and can access an interactive archive of information that relates to planning and construction of the school.

"We are extremely excited to have this live, dynamic link between our prospective students, their families and The School," said Gardner Dunnan, assistant provost and acting head of The School. "Because new media and digital presentations and resources will play such a large role at our school and in our outreach efforts to public schools, we think this website is a great way to get our school connected with the wider community as we move closer to the day the doors open."

The School is envisioned as a diverse learning community that will draw upon the resources of the University and extend programs and services to New York City public and independent schools in an effort to create meaningful partnerships with other educational institutions. It will occupy five floors of a building currently under construction at 110th Street and Broadway that will also serve as a faculty residence.

Admissions applications from the children of Columbia faculty and non-Columbia affiliates from the surrounding neighborhoods will be accepted beginning this fall. The children of University officers will be considered on a space available basis. Children in grades K through four will be accepted in the first year, fall 2003. A new entering class will be added each year until 2007, when The School will be at full capacity, teaching 650 students in grades K through 8.

At the hub of academic activity, The School has created the Center for Integrated Learning and Teaching (CILT), headed by Marc A. Meyer, adjunct professor of the School of General Studies and former director of Research and Content Development at the Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning, where he was responsible for the development of a number of web-based learning and study environments. The CILT's task is to design and implement innovative curricula and develop educational technologies and related teaching techniques. It will also coordinate outreach efforts to independent and public schools and act as a continuing education center, offering workshops, seminars and professional development for The School's teachers and others registered as CILT fellows.

According to Meyer, "The Center is at the heart of The School's commitment to excellence. We want to help create conditions that invite everyone in The School's community to test their abilities and realize their fullest potential. Whether we are recruiting faculty or assisting them in their professional development, working with teachers and students to design innovative curriculum and test new pedagogical approaches, or instilling in children a vision of truth, depth of understanding, commitment to right action, and the love of wisdom, the Center sees itself as an integral part of Columbia University's commitment of enhancing the quality of education for all children."

Three advisory committees oversee planning for The School: The University Advisory Committee, which reviews school policies; the Community Advisory Committee, which helped define the cachement area for the school; and the School Planning Team, a group of expert educators helping to create curriculum, policies and procedures that will inform the school culture.

Published: Jun 10, 2002
Last modified: Sep 18, 2002

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