Mount Vernon Presbyterian School
With the skills taught to me and my peers, I am comfortable and ready to tackle major real-world issues with a fresh and relevant perspective.
FACTS & FIGURES
Preschool through Grade 12
Faculty to Learner Ratio
Learners Receiving Financial Assistance
Community Service Hours per Year
2008-2015 Merit Scholarships Awarded
COMPREHENSIVE DESIGN THINKING INFUSION. A moniker more aligned with a Silicon Valley startup than a southern parochial learning environment, this four-word phrase is the driving force behind the Atlanta-based Mount Vernon Presbyterian School (MVPS). And, there is no better way to see how that comes to life than to consider the MVPS continuum of Purpose, Design, Culture, and Results.
Home to learners as young as six-weeks up to those headed off on post-secondary pursuits, MVPS lives its purpose: to cultivate “a school of inquiry, innovation, and impact—preparing all students to be college ready, globally competitive, and engaged citizen leaders.”
Reflecting this powerful purpose, MVPS’ design speaks to kids’ inherent abilities to think, wonder, create, and problem solve. From the lower to upper schools, MVPS has established a socially embedded, open-walled learning environment that supports learners in developing the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to apply their education within the broader community—creating a positive, long-lasting impact. These learners are making a difference in their communities, and they know themselves to be powerful, proactive change agents.
For example, when a group of young learners observed a room full of infants, their blossoming minds took control. Realizing the babies were fascinated by one child’s sparkly shirt—they saw an immediate possibility. By filling bottles with sparkly confetti and wrapping boxes with shiny paper, these learners worked to bring joy to those even younger than themselves. This Design Thinking Challenge exemplifies what occurs throughout the MVPS system. Kids are empowered to discover a problem, identify a solution, and create positive change.
All of this inquiry and invention would be impossible without the incredible learning culture MVPS has fostered. Perhaps the lynchpin of their work, this culture has supplied a self-sustaining energy for all involved. Through a questions-first approach—catalyzed by their undeterred commitment to “fail up, share the well, assume the best, and have fun”—learners and leaders at MVPS are surrounded by a supportive, open-minded community on a daily basis.
At MVPS, learning becomes real, relevant, and…well, fun! It also becomes enlightening—kids are invited to unapologetically discover their whole-selves at every stage in the learning journey. And, the results reveal individuals ready to think creatively, innovate, communicate effectively, make ethical decisions, seek out solutions, and collaborate with the local and global community.
Continuing to push the envelope as leaders in design thinking, MVPS partnered with Stanford’s d.School. Through this collaborative effort, the Mount Vernon Institute of Innovation (MVIFI) was born and, for the last six years, has acted as a research and development arm of MVPS “engaging students in real-world, people-centered problem solving.” Together, MVPS and MVIFI combine to create a fast-paced, forward-thinking environment—preparing learners to tackle the challenges of today and tomorrow.
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