The LAUNCH Initiative
Making Connections, Applying Knowledge
The purpose of the LAUNCH Initiative is to engage juniors and seniors in an academic exploration of five 21st Century priorities (Leadership, Innovation, Compassion, Expression, and Courage). The interdisciplinary course work will guide our young men towards a greater understanding of themselves and their ability to impact the world.
We know that boys learn best when they are able to make connections between what they are learning in the classroom and what is going on in their lives outside of the classroom. We also know that colleges and universities are looking for engaged learners who are able to make these connections between different subject matters. As a result of our knowledge of boy learning and the prevalence of interdisciplinary learning at the collegiate level, we have created the LAUNCH Initiative. This enhancement to our traditional curriculum will begin with the Class of 2017 and will feature thematic "tracks" that incorporate real world problem solving across disciplines. All LAUNCH Initiative tracks will culminate with an Independent Study, where students, guided by their faculty leaders, will create and execute a substantial project.
The tracks and faculty leaders are as follows
Mr. Dagenais & Mr. Morrissey
Mrs. Kellerman, Mrs. Rodriguez, & Mr. Thomas
Mr. Franklin & Mrs. Gazin
Mr. LaFreniere & Mr. Freihofer
Mrs. Digges & Mr. Osborn
Each track will consist of four semester long courses (listed below), each designed to inspire students to find their own passion and voice and then begin applying their knowledge in real world situations. The Independent Study in the spring of the senior year will immerse students in the process of connecting their Boys' Latin education with the broader community. Current sophomores have heard presentations from the faculty leaders about their tracks, and students have been given course descriptions for each of the courses.
Redefining Leadership: Authentic Selfhood Everyday Genius: How the Things Around Us Work
Citizenship: The Self and Society Digital Media and Productivity
Cultivating Leadership: Learning to Lead Phun Physics: How Toys Work
Independent Study Independent Study
Inalienable Rights, Living Truths Art and Self Expression
The Path to Righteousness Expression of Joy, Expression of Pain
Activists, Entrepreneurs, and Problem Solvers Expression of Rebellion
Independent Study Independent Study
Contemporary Social Issues
Courage in Our Lives
Courage in Our Community: Boys' Latin, Baltimore, and Beyond
WHAT ARE COLLEGES SAYING AND DOING ABOUT THIS TYPE OF LEARNING?
Connecticut College - "A program that spans all four years of a student's undergraduate experience, the new curriculum, which is being called Connections, fosters an integrative and intentional approach to learning...Students will explore a topic of broad intellectual significance through multiple lenses, by completing a series of thematically linked courses called an “Integrative Pathway.” - http://www.conncoll.edu/revision/
Dickinson College - "At Dickinson, we encourage our students to seek connections. We emphasize this ability to draw together diverse information and insights and make sense of complexity—to connect the dots and read between the lines. This focus is embodied academically most clearly in our commitment to interdisciplinarity." - http://www.dickinson.edu/homepage/37/interdisciplinary_studies
Duke University - "Companies, governments and organizations are looking for graduates with training and experience tackling complex issues. Through Bass Connections, Duke is channeling its unique culture of collaboration, ambitious entrepreneurial spirit and established record of applying classroom learning to pressing global problems, to create a distinctive new model for education." - http://bassconnections.duke.edu/content/about-bass-connections
The application process for enrolling students in their LAUNCH track is as follows -
1. Students hear a presentation from each faculty team about what students will experience as part of this LAUNCH track.
2. Students fill out an application that has two parts - ranking their choices #1-5 and writing an essay detailing why they are interested in their first and second choices.
3. The faculty leaders of the tracks will then read the essays and in conjunction with the student rankings determine the enrollment in each track.
Our goal is to place students with their top choices, but it is possible that students will not always be placed in their most desired track(s). All of the LAUNCH Initiative tracks will expose boys to the same central aspects of the experience, and we are confident that all young men will find the LAUNCH Initiative courses engaging and compelling.