Fountain Valley School of Colorado has been accepted as a Round Square member school, one of just nine in the United States and the only school between the two coasts.
Round Square was developed in 1966 by Outward Bound founder Kurt Hahn, and is a worldwide network of more than 100 schools on five continents promoting global literacy as integral to the curriculum, and offering high school students opportunities for exchanges, service learning projects and international conferences. All schools focus on five IDEALS: Internationalism, Democracy, Environment, Adventure, Leadership and Service.
Round Square gives Fountain Valley School another dimension to its Global Scholar Diploma, which is a four-year curricular and co-curricular program emphasizing global learning in the FVS classroom, the local community and through immersion experiences.
Director of Global Education Dr. Susan Carrese led the initiative for Round Square membership, a rigorous nine-month process involving a three-day site visit and extensive interviews of multiple school constituencies.
“This is an excellent next step for Fountain Valley and builds on a long history of global awareness and liberal arts education,” Carrese says, “Round Square is another pillar in our Global Scholar Diploma program and will deepen our experiential components. These partnerships will allow relatively low-cost educational exchanges at independent schools in places such as South Africa, Australia, Jordan, Kenya and France to name a few. I’m excited about service learning with international teams of students in places like Nepal, the Yukon and Peru as well.”
Round Square connections have already been made; in March, the India Interim (an FVS experiential education program) visited Mayo College, a prestigious boys boarding school and Round Square member in Ajmer, India. In May, junior and senior FVS students will be encouraged to apply to attend the Round Square international conference to be held in October at St. Andrews School in Boca Raton, Fla. The five-day “Waves of Change” conference, attended by a six-person FVS delegation and member schools from all over the world, aims to inspire students to set change in motion through a curriculum focused on leadership, entrepreneurialism and sustainability in global context.
“We will use a whole host of 21st century skills to prepare for, and participate in, this conference: technology, collaboration, critical thinking and empathy," Carrese says. "Then, side by side with students from five continents, we will live, learn and work on a service project in the Everglades. Dynamic young speakers such as Adam Braun of Pencils for Promise, Jessica Jackley of KIVA microlending and Craig Kielburger of Me to We are coming to join us. I can’t imagine a more inspiring week for an up-and-coming global citizen.”