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The Miami Valley School’s academic program is guided by the school’s signature pedagogy, the MVS Immersion Method. The Immersion Method is grounded in our shared belief that learning is rooted in direct experience, which leads to engagement and the discovery of passion by each individual student. At MVS, teachers serve as guides and collaborators rather than lecturers, and deep knowledge of concepts is privileged over rote memorization.
Everything we do at The Miami Valley School is carefully sculpted to create a community of student and adult learners who are supported in pursuit of their individual passions. Our faculty and staff collaborate with students to help them pursue the information they are curious about.
MVS teachers create dynamic opportunities for real-world learning and academic achievement in a one-of-a-kind school environment. At MVS, our advanced courses are designed to replicate the experience and small-group dynamic of a college-level seminar, favoring depth over breadth in course content.
Since 1974, Immersion Term has been a signature component of the MVS academic calendar. Students in all four divisions of the school participate in Immersion Term, which allows them to explore one area of academic interest in-depth. Immersion Term offers opportunities for overnight travel, independent research, authentic learning, and valuable professional experience. Past Immersions have included Marine Ecology, Winter in Yellowstone, Interactive Journeys in Healthcare Professions, and Civil Rights: A Living History.
In the upper school, Immersion Term spans the four weeks of January, separating the winter and spring semesters. Students may apply to take part in a group Immersion course or create their own independent study. Upper school Immersions from the 2021-2022 school year include: Animal Behavior & Marine Biology at Maine Department of Marine Resources (independent), STEM & Building the Electric Guitar, and Mission: Space Exploration.
In the middle school, Immersion Term takes place over three weeks in January, separating the winter and spring semesters. All students apply to take part in a group Immersion course based on individual areas of interest. Middle school Immersions from the 2021-2022 school year include: Farm 2 Fork: Regenerative Farming, Government in Action, and Out of the Delta: Jazz, Blues, and the Great Migration
Students in the early childhood and lower schools take part in two Immersions each year, with each one lasting one week. During the fall semester, students brainstorm ideas about things they would like to know more about. Then, faculty members create Immersion courses based on those interests. Early childhood and lower school Immersions from the 2021-2022 school year include: Wild Ohio, Dig Into Dinosaurs, and Clever Chemists.
In its 50-year existence, Immersion has earned national attention and made MVS a recognized leader in experiential education. In addition to numerous articles in local newspapers, MVS’ Immersion Term has been featured in the ISACS Journal, the professional magazine of the Independent Schools Association of the Central States. The National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) devoted a chapter to MVS’ Immersion in a 2004 book.
From its roots in the 1970s, Immersion is now an integral part of The Miami Valley School’s identity, simultaneously an innovative and evolving program and an expression of the school’s founding principles: to educate self-sustaining learners and compassionate global citizens.2022 Immersion Newsletter
Working for 20 years in college admissions has made me realize just how unique my Immersion experience was in high school. How great to empower students to choose their teacher and subject interest. It’s just another area that makes MVS so special!"
Sue Rudd '80, Associate Director of Admissions, St. Catherine University
MVS’ campus is home to one of the area’s premier Makerspaces, where students can use 3D printers, laser cutters, Sphero robots, and more in pursuit of their design dreams. Makerspace students explore, connect, share, and reflect on their work and present their work to outside experts from the community. MVS Makerspace & Computer Science students have previously collaborated with community partners from the University of Dayton, the Hub, Brixilated, and Chalkline 4D, to name a few.
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At the Soin Early Childhood School, children learn by doing. Our teachers believe that a messy room is a sign of a great day in class. We start to develop their love of learning early, encouraging them to understand their world!
Students begin to open their minds, learning about the world around them. We immerse them in local and global cultures, making them aware of their communities. This is where their exploration of the world begins.
Students explore their world, find their voices, and own their learning. Middle school provides new social, emotional, and academic challenges, and in the hands of dedicated teachers, young people are encouraged to take intellectual risks and blaze a trail.
This is where our students begin to shine on their own, staking out their own educational path before graduation. This is where they begin their full Immersion, taking four weeks to travel to wherever their path leads them.
At The Miami Valley School, our unique blend of experiential education and challenging core academics makes our students ready for the challenges of college and beyond. Every one of our graduates is prepared for the rigors of a competitive four-year college. However, the MVS college process is not one-size-fits-all. Our Director of College Counseling works with every senior to find an institution that is the best place for them. At MVS, personalized attention in the college admissions process is integral to student success.
Library Mission: To guide inquiry and support free, open access to information and ideas that enrich an MVS education.
Space: providing a welcoming library environment that supports the immersion method, through spaces where students feel safe to explore, connect, share, and reflect.
Resources: meeting the community’s ever-changing information needs through developing the library collection
Teaching: working with classroom teachers to provide effective research instruction
Communicating: promoting library resources and services across the community
Inspiring: encouraging self-driven exploration of ideas and reading for pleasure
The Zorniger Environmental Lab is a hub at the heart of our campus. In this multidisciplinary learning space, students in all divisions of the school explore the vital relationship between humans and the environment.
The Zorniger Environmental Laboratory serves as a setting for multidisciplinary, experiential, learning opportunities where our community can explore, dream, share, reflect, connect, and grow ideas for a more sustainable future.
Anne Griffith has taught biology and environmental science for over two decades at The Miami Valley School, and in 2021 she assumed the full-time role of Director of Environmental Sustainability. Anne comes to her work in the Z-Lab with a deep background as a scientist and an extraordinary gift for inviting students into the work of sustainability through both immersive observation and the scientific method. Her passionate support of proposals for Green Initiatives at MVS and partnerships with local organizations and colleges bring great energy and commitment to our environmental science program. Anne holds an undergraduate degree in biology from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in biology from the University of Virginia.
We are thrilled with your interest in The Miami Valley School and look forward to discussing how we foster a lifetime love of learning that ignites students’ curiosity and empowers them to make an impact. Our Admissions Office is dedicated to guiding you through the process, making it an individualized and personal experience.
The Miami Valley School invites students from all over the world to attend. In the 2023-2024 academic year, MVS has welcomed 16 international students from 6 countries, creating a truly global learning community. Applicants are evaluated thoroughly to ensure that they have the greatest potential for success in the English speaking environment of a rigorous American academic institution.Admissions ProcessInternational Admissions
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