Garden Grows From Seeds Planted During 2017 Envision Collegiate

For four days in May 2017, under the supervision of Collegiate School Chief Academic Officer Susan Droke, Director of the Institute for Responsible Citizenship Clare Sisisky and Capstone Coordinator and 4th Grade teacher Carolyn Villanueva, 4th Graders immersed themselves in the design thinking process to address the challenge How might we design a learning garden for our school community? as part of Envision Collegiate, the Lower School Capstone.
Collegiate offers Capstone programs in the final year of each division of the School — 4th Grade, 8th Grade and 12th Grade — to create opportunities and challenges for students that help prepare them for the future.

The 2017 Envision Collegiate program centered around the Responsible Citizenship pillar of sustainability. Students used the Lower School garden as their focus for learning about collaborative design and developing their communication and leadership skills. Read more about the first year of the Lower School capstone here.

Growing from seeds of ideas planted during this inaugural year, Responsible Citizenship Program Manager Anne Rusbuldt and Kindergarten assistant teacher Paige Tinney-Reed coordinated joint work sessions with current 5th Graders who participated in 2017 Envision Collegiate, Kindergarten students, Upper School robotics students and students enrolled in the senior Capstone class, Food in America, to design and build the Lower School garden’s raised beds.

The students took and recorded measurements, discussed ideas and created diagrams for planning purposes for the Lower School raised beds, using the new Upper School raised beds as models. Ms. Tinney-Reed supervises any Kindergarten student who wanted to work in the garden during recess each day.

The theme of this year's Envision Collegiate was How might we use technology to improve Collegiate by 2026? The significance of the year 2026 is that it is when the current 4th Graders will graduate from Collegiate. Read more about Envision Collegiate 2018 here.