No variable specified
Buckhead rival schools collaborate on summer course
by Caroline Young
June 05, 2013 02:51 PM | 2409 views | 1 1 comments | 60 60 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Special Photo <br>
Teachers Mark May-Beaver and Bart Griffith, back from left, prepare for the collaborative course with Lovett and Westminster students at the kickoff event. Front from left, students Kaitlin Scott, Janiah Beazer, Hannah Gay and Harrison Lyle.
Special Photo
Teachers Mark May-Beaver and Bart Griffith, back from left, prepare for the collaborative course with Lovett and Westminster students at the kickoff event. Front from left, students Kaitlin Scott, Janiah Beazer, Hannah Gay and Harrison Lyle.
slideshow
Traditionally athletic rivals, Lovett and Westminster joined forces Monday in a new summer course called Atlanta 2.0.

“We don’t have a history of sharing,” said Bart Griffith, Westminster’s English department chairman. “The thought was that with two of the country’s greatest independent schools a half mile down the road, why don’t we work on things together and grow in collaboration with one another.”

He said the course was initially the “brainchild” of the schools’ two headmasters, Westminster’s William Clarkston and Lovett’s Billy Peebles.

Griffith, along with Mark May-Beaver, Lovett’s English and American studies teacher, were asked to develop the nuts and bolts of the curriculum, and to teach Atlanta 2.0, which is based on theme of public space and community.

The course allows students to engage with civic leaders, tour a broad spectrum of Atlanta neighborhoods and examine current literature about contemporary urban life. The group of 13 will work to identify the problems in our city, research potential solutions to propose them to a panel of Atlanta’s leaders in government, business, education, law, medicine and the arts.

Griffith said organizations participating include The Friends of English Avenue, Eastlake Foundation, Greenstreet Properties, the Atlanta Zoo and the Bolton Riverside Neighborhood Association.

“I think what we want them to appreciate and get excited about is all the work that goes into making city work for all of its citizens,” he said. “We want them to embrace the idea that cities are at their best when they are created by everybody, from the local street artist to the biggest commercial developer on the block.”

Griffith said he wants the students, who had a relatively sheltered suburban upbringing, like him, to understand the challenges Atlanta faces.

“We want them to get a range of perspective of how some organizations and individuals have gone about designing solutions to solve problems,” he said.

Each student receives a half credit for taking the course, and free tuition, at least for the first year, Griffith said. They were chosen through an essay application process in the early spring.

Laura Deisley, Lovett’s director of 21st-century learning, said the idea to collaborate evolved from both schools’ commitment to philanthropy and students understanding their role as civic participants.

“Both schools have done great deal of work and always looking for opportunities to further connect students to city in which they live,” she said. “We want to engage students in an authentic experience. … It’s not something fabricated in a classroom.”

Atlanta 2.0 will run for three full weeks, Deisley said, and there is a possibility of extending the course to public school students in the future.
Comments
(1)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
Buckhead Betty
|
June 17, 2013
What a wonderful program spearheaded by Westminster and Lovett. These two schools are setting such a good example by giving back to the city and studying how it works. I don't doubt that they will come up with much better solutions than current city leaders!
*We welcome your comments on the stories and issues of the day and seek to provide a forum for the community to voice opinions. All comments are subject to moderator approval before being made visible on the website but are not edited. The use of profanity, obscene and vulgar language, hate speech, and racial slurs is strictly prohibited. Advertisements, promotions, spam, and links to outside websites will also be rejected. Please read our terms of service for full guides