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Students at MVS take learning opportunities beyond classroom

February 7, 2020
Miami Valley School

How would you feel about a month of intense study on culinary adventures, or adventures through caves? What about immersive schoolwork that took you to study in China, Amsterdam or New Orleans?

Every January, students in all divisions at The Miami Valley School get hands-on and deeply engaged in a number of programs as they split into immersion groups and spend the month studying subjects beyond the classroom.

Upper School students, those in Grade 9-12, were able to choose from immersions that include powerful topics, including tackling Social Action or Immigration Studies to adventurous choices such as Monuments and Memorials or Culinary Delights, that include a number of short trips. Students with an eye toward globetrotting were even able to choose larger cultural studies that include immersions and trips to Ghana, China and Amsterdam.

“Whether local, domestic, or international, each Immersion will push students out of their comfort zones and into the unknown,” said Upper School Director Blair Munhofen. “That unknown isn’t just geographic: in many cases, the unknown are those parts of ourselves that are yet undiscovered, and, in nearly all cases, that unknown includes the people on the Immersion.

Immersion at The Miami Valley School extends beyond Upper School, touching all grade levels at the school. Middle School students spend three weeks deeply exploring topics as well. This year, immersions include studies on Girl Power! (women’s studies and empowerment), Rock Your World! (geology), The Great Migration, New Orleans, Tucson and Street Smarts!

Most immersions in Upper School and Middle School include some measure of travel, whether it’s around one town over or across the globe. But don’t think Lower School misses out on the fun. Students in Grades K-5 have the opportunity to experience mini-immersions, which include two one-week deep dives into topics like dance, innovation, puzzling, exercise and France!

While studies in January focus deeply on immersion, the highlight always comes toward the end of the month during the Immersion Open House, which takes place on February 13 and gives students the opportunity to present lessons learned from their studies in a one-night showcase, open to The Miami Valley School community.

“This all-school open house gives our students the opportunity to share their experience with visitors. All MVS students learn so much about the process and the younger ones learn what their future immersion could be,” said Susan Strong, Assistant Head of External Affairs for The Miami Valley School. For MVS students, Immersion is their life-changing experience – forming bonds with teachers and friend, while growing into self-sustaining adults and compassionate global citizens.

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