Ugh. Let's dispel some rumors.
As a Foundry parent and board member, I talk to a lot of people about the school. Most are curious and excited to hear about our model of education. Others, through no fault of their own, have very flawed perceptions about what we're doing at The Foundry. The other night I had an interesting and somewhat troublesome conversation with someone about the school. I was telling this person about how busy my son stays with school. She looked shocked and replied, "Really? I thought you were an easy-going school who does hands-on stuff." (The tone with which she said this made me picture students using crayons and Play-Doh to express their feelings.) My response was, "Nooooooooooooooooo! We are a real school with real, challenging classes!" The conversation evolved into a discussion about SATs, dual enrollment, courses of rigor, college prep, etc., and this woman was genuinely surprised to learn that we are a legitimate high school that offers an alternative to traditional education.
Yes, we are a project-based learning school. Yes, we are pretty outside-the-box compared to most institutes of education. Yes, we devote Fridays to guest speakers, projects, and service. But we are a real school. One thing that allows us the time for relevant, project-based learning is our modified block schedule. Basically, we're fitting five days of class time into four days. Further, we don't "teach to the test" at The Foundry. We don't take Georgia Milestones, and we're not forced into the memorization game that plagues most schools. If you still think that traditional education is working for high school students, please, please, please come watch the documentary Most Likely to Succeed this Friday night at 7:00. It's an eye-opening view of what needs to be changed in the traditional, out-of-date education model of the United States.
Nearly two years ago, a group of parents came together because we saw a real need for something better for the young men and women who will be the leaders in our country in just a few years. We realized that only by challenging and shaping these students, by providing them with unparalleled opportunities, and by letting them recognize their gifts and their true potential before they head off to college could we help them become the leaders we know they can be. If I sound like I'm passionate about The Foundry, it's because I am!
Our school is not for the faint of heart. One Foundry student, an extremely bright young woman who has home-schooled and attended both private and public schools, is adamant that The Foundry is the first school that has actually challenged her and hasn't held her back from reaching her potential. And it's true! My observation is that every student is working harder this year than ever before. That said, I would bet good money that you can't find a single one of our students who doesn't love coming to school every day.
There is something very different and special about The Foundry. Please help me spread the word.