Global Online Academy
The GOA experience connects Newman students to a global network of people and resources: students and teachers come from more than sixty of the best independent schools around the world. Just by taking a GOA class, Newman students meet and collaborate with people they might never otherwise know.
For more information, visit Global Online Academy's website
Instant global communication and the immediate access to information and ideas have enriched our society while creating new challenges and responsibilities for Americans. As our current high school students move into their adult lives, they need the skills to navigate across cultural barriers, understand multiple perspectives, and evaluate the validity and context of the information they receive with an open mind and a critical eye.
The Global Studies program at Newman addresses these challenges with a series of thought-provoking, regional-studies courses for seniors. These courses encourage Newman seniors to explore and critically analyze economic, cultural, and diplomatic issues facing key regions in the world. Taught by area specialists with deep academic backgrounds and personal connections to the regions, the Global Studies courses explore the historical forces that shaped the region and the successes and challenges that characterize it today. Each course emphasizes the perspective of the region in question through the study of journalistic sources, memoirs, novels, films, and other cultural media from the region. Newman’s Global Studies program currently offers courses on the following regions: Latin America, the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, Europe, and Far East Asia. All seniors at Newman are required to take one Global Studies course. For students with advanced proficiency in Spanish, there is a Spanish-language option: Estudios Globales: América Latina. This course, taught as a joint initiative of the History and World Languages Departments, follows the Global Studies curriculum, but all lectures, discussions, presentations, and written assignments are done in Spanish.
Freshman Washington Trip
For over 60 years the Newman freshmen class has travelled annually to Washington, D.C. This one-week experience is meant to coincide with the 9th grade GES (government and economic systems) curriculum. While in D.C., the class visits the many well-known memorials and museums, takes a class picture in front of the Capitol (before a tour), and the class officers lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington Cemetery.
Occasionally, when the schedule permits, the class is fortunate to be able to meet with their local Congressional members; on two previous occasions they were able to meet with one of the Supreme Court Justices.
In the evenings, the class might attend a performance at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts or take in a game at one of the local sporting venues. We have seen Georgetown and George Washington University basketball games and attended professional contests of the Washington Wizards and the Washington Capitals.
The trip also includes day trips to Monticello, the University of Virginia, Jamestown, Williamsburg, Mount Vernon, the National Cathedral, and the United States Naval Academy.
Innovation and Design Thinking
Newman’s Innovation and Design Thinking program is threaded throughout the school, from Pre-K to 12th grade. At its foundation is a collection of mindsets that empower students to be creative problem solvers at school and throughout their lives. These mindsets are empathy, an attitude of prototyping, collaboration, iteration, and feedback.
Pre-K through 5th grade students attend a weekly class in the Innovation Lab, our elementary makerspace, to build skills such as tool safety, prototyping, teamwork, brainstorming, and empathy. Design Thinking challenges are introduced at the earliest level and continue to increase in scope through 5th grade, at which point students are tackling challenges involving the greater Newman community.
Our sophisticated Middle and Upper School Makerspace provides a supportive environment where 6th through 12th grade students can learn and practice 3D modeling, coding, robotics, and rapid prototyping. Design Thinking is practiced in classrooms across divisions and disciplines.
So what sets Design Thinking apart? How is it different from other problem-solving processes? Perhaps Design Thinking’s main distinguishing attribute is the value it places on empathy. When solving a problem, students have an end user – a person or a population – in mind. Another key difference lies in the word “mindset.” Design Thinking is as much an attitude as a process, a way of approaching any type of problem with the tools – and the confidence – to solve it.
Peer Leadership Program
Peer Leadership is a program designed to help freshmen successfully transition into the Upper School and to develop leadership skills for selected Newman seniors. Based on over 25 years of research from the Princeton Center for Leadership Training, this program believes that the peer-to-peer leadership model allows us to utilize and empower our student leaders in order to strengthen our school community. The program helps new and returning students connect to peers and feel a greater sense of belonging to Newman. In addition, we hope for students to develop effective communication skills with peers and adults, an ability to resolve interpersonal challenges, and increased self-efficacy in areas of stress reduction, time and conflict management, problem-solving and decision-making.
The Peer Leadership program addresses issues including:
- Sense of belonging
- Competence in interpersonal relationships
- Achievement orientation
- Coping with the challenges of school and adolescent life
- Decision making
- Resisting peer pressure
- Peer acceptance
- Stress management