cross-cultural literacy

Throughout our program, foundational skills and competencies in traditional disciplines are interwoven with four cross-disciplinary "literacies": cross-cultural literacy; ecological literacy; media and information literacy; and social, emotional, and ethical literacy. Teachers integrate them in their own ways, and students often take the lead on an issue they feel passionate about, such as carpooling or energy use on campus.

At the heart of Mark Day School's mission lies a commitment to prepare every student to live, work, and lead in the increasingly interconnected world of the 21st century. As members of a diverse, inclusive, and socially responsible community, it is our privilege, as well as our responsibility, to encourage our students to reach beyond their own community and to understand and embrace the inextricable links that exist among people everywhere.

Mark Day School continues to develop an intentional program that teaches the essential skills and builds the competencies that promote personal growth and contribute to the common good locally and globally.

Through our formalized partnerships, as well as via individual classroom-to-classroom connections, our reciprocal relationships afford our students unique opportunities to:

  • Investigate and experience the richness of multiple perspectives.
  • Navigate differences and embrace change.
  • Understand what we have to learn and what we have to share.
  • Recognize and explore the impact that access to resources and opportunities has on our lives.
  • Collaborate and seek solutions to local and global challenges.
  • Value compassion, fairness, and empathy, and pursue equity and justice.

Featured Project: Passport Day

Passport Day is an all-school annual event that highlights the importance of enjoying our differences while celebrating values shared across cultures. This year, we celebrated and learned about our South African partners.

The entire community kicked off Passport Day with an assembly filled with music, art, and performances. Classes then rotated throughout the day between different activities that highlighted South African culture. For example, an alumni parent told a story about exclusion and acceptance, students wrote personal letters to students at our partners Kliptown Youth Program and eSibonisweni Primary Orphan Program in South Africa, our artist-in-residence Thando Bezana led a lively Gumboot Dancing workshop, and students met in the art studio to create a life-sized elephant head made entirely from recycled materials.

Featured Project: Hosting Delegations From Our Beijing Partner School, Er Xiao

Over the course of our ten-year partnership, we have welcomed delegations of students and teachers from Beijing #2 Experimental Primary School (Er Xiao). They join us on campus to learned alongside Mark Day students in the classroom, share traditions, and make new friends.

During the February 2017 visit, Er Xiao teacher Principal Hua Ying-Long worked with 6th grade students on a math activity. Mr. Hua is a renowned teacher of mathematics in China. Fundamental is the belief that the best way to teach is to encourage children to fall in love with the subject. Mr. Hua is very interested in finding a way to collaborate not only with Mark Day School's math teachers but also to integrate in some way our design and tinkering efforts, which align very well with the philosophy of many types of problem solving that he works to inculcate in his students.

On January 28, 2016, 71 students from Er Xiao's The Golden Sail Art Troupe performed Chinese folk dances and Swan Lake in the Mark Day School gym.