By Donna Milani Luther, Head of School
At Inly, we reflect every day about the forward-thinking of Maria Montessori. Dr. Maria Montessori took what had been in education and imagined what could be. Today at Inly, we are imagining what can be in the world of education because we fundamentally believe in the power of children. We believe that children are capable of so much more than most give them credit for. This is why we want to create a space that fosters their capabilities, creativity, and innate desire to learn and explore. We plan to do so through updating and upgrading some of our classrooms and creating a new centerpiece for our school.
As many of you already know, Inly School is currently in the midst of a fundraising campaign we’re calling “INLY NEXT: Building Innovation. Through this campaign, we are hoping to raise the funds to build 6 new classroom spaces and a new centerpiece for the school.
Twelve years ago, Inly embarked on a similar campaign to build the Meehan Family Artsbarn. Our Middle School Director, Tschol Slade, reflected recently at a Town Hall Meeting, “When we built the Artsbarn, our school plays and other performances were brought to a whole new level. It opened a new world of possibility for our students.” I believe spaces like the Artsbarn offer structure that leads to freedom, and opportunity that leads to possibility. Since the very first day we opened its doors, the Artsbarn has transformed from moment to moment to meet the diverse needs of our students—it has been a gathering space for Morning Shares, a dance and movement space, a coffee house for our middle school students, an athletic space for basketball games and physical education classes, a learning space for student assemblies, a lecture space for our speaker series, and a performance space for our school plays. The Artsbarn not only meets the needs of our children today but it also allows them to imagine what they can and will be in their future.
The centerpiece that we will be adding to our main school building is very much an architectural nod to the Artsbarn—only this “barn” will be round. The centerpiece will have two stories—one for a brand new library and the other for a Da Vinci Studio. I am extremely proud of our efforts around creating the Da Vinci Studio because I know that no other elementary school will have a space quite like this. It will be named “Da Vinci Studio” in honor of the first true Renaissance man who dreamed of things that weren’t and made them happen. Because we know that we are currently educating children for jobs and careers that don’t exist yet, this space is intended to help our students channel their inner Da Vinci and learn how to create something from nothing—to turn their ideas into reality. The Da Vinci Studio will include space for robotics, 3-D printing, digital video creation, and tinkering. Along with these offerings, the Da Vinci Studio will also have an idea studio, which will have whiteboards on the walls and surfaces for students to imagine, draw, and plan.
At Inly, innovation and creativity are at the core of our curriculum and instrumental to the way children learn. Paramount to our continued success will be learning spaces that mirror the collaborative work spaces of the real world and support our inspired curriculum, with flexibly designed classrooms and expanded resources for both students and faculty. In short, Inly is going places, and I hope you will join me in supporting this campaign and supporting our school’s bright future.