The founders of New School High consider the naming of a school to be a very serious and important decision, and were dedicated to choosing a name that will clearly and eloquently convey the school’s identity. What was the thinking behind our unique name?
The key word, of course, is “new.” Rather than referring to a point on the calendar, we believe that “new’ is an attitude, a philosophy, and an aspiration. To be new is to be open to reinvention at all times, which is exactly what the future of education must be – and what our school is all about. No word better captures our determination to continuously apply the most robust current research and best practices to teaching and learning.
Back in 1919, John Dewey and other distinguished American educators created a university they named The New School for Social Research (now called simply The New School) “to defy the intellectual constraints of traditional college education. As The New School approaches its centennial, it remains on the cutting edge—attracting active scholars, artists, and pacesetters who deploy creativity and innovation to challenge the status quo.” (www.newschool.edu)
We share the spirit of John Dewey and believe that “new” is in fact a timeless idea that we, too, wish to embody. For nearly 100 years, Dewey’s New School has stood for innovation. Today the name remains as fresh and inspiring as it must have been iconoclastic in 1919.
As we continued to reflect upon the name, we felt it might be helpful to add an indicator of the age group the school will serve, and came upon an elegant solution: New School High. This title retains our commitment to innovation and clarifies our mission as a high school. We admit to borrowing the form from San Diego’s High Tech High, and believe we would be in good company sharing this name element with a school that has made as much impact on the national scene as High Tech High.
It is our hope that the students, teachers, and parents of New School High — past, present, and future – embrace the vision the founders intended to express by its name.