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Why am I so happy my children are learning here at AAS?

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Why am I so happy my children are learning here at AAS?

Since beginning my career in education 19 years ago, I have worked in many different schools in many different parts of the world: US public schools, charter schools, and other international schools.  During that time, I have also become a father and have watched my two sons grow and learn their way through elementary school then on into middle and high school.  Together, these experiences have caused me to re-examine and ultimately change some of my beliefs about education and its role in preparing our children for life.

Why am I so happy that my children are here at AAS instead of any other school?  In short, AAS keeps the focus of learning on the most important values and traits my sons will really need to lead full, healthy, and happy lives.  

Schools which focus on “high academic standards” are a dime-a-dozen; so are schools which profess that every child will be “ready for college or career.”  Of course, I pay attention to the academic content my children are learning and I have zero doubt they will be academically prepared for postsecondary; honestly, I think I would find myself saying this same thing about most quality schools.  I want more than that for my children.

What makes AAS different, and what will set my children apart, is the focus given by the teaching team on those overarching norms, mindsets, and ways of thinking that go beyond academics to prepare them for a rich and full life of learning and growing.  This is what I want for my children.

Take a minute to consider this progression that my children will experience here at AAS: in elementary school, they will be taught to “believe in themselves,” to “value mistakes and challenges,” and to “embrace creativity and flexibility.”  Then, as they prepare for high school, they will take those beliefs they learned in elementary school and focus on becoming “open-minded,” “communicators,” “balanced,” and more.  These, more than any math or literacy skills, are what will ensure my sons become the best people they can be and lead lives filled with meaning, growth and opportunity.

My sons are getting a high-quality academic education and they’ll be ready for college – no doubt – but here at AAS, every adult promotes the understanding that there is more to the development of a child than the core curriculum.  It is this deliberate attention to the values my children will have and the people they will become beyond academics that makes AAS different.  It is this broader focus that makes me so happy my children are here, learning at AAS.

Dr. Matt Horne
Elementary School Principal
Father of Jonah (grade 6) and Noah (grade 10)

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