At SSSAS we want students to do more than stare out at the world. We want them to see its cultures, histories, landscapes, and perspectives—like and unlike their own—and to explore, collaborate, respect, serve, and engage with them.
Students develop this global understanding in age-appropriate ways. While lower schoolers play math games with local Spanish-speaking preschoolers, upper schoolers discuss refugees and migration with their Danish sister school on Skype. (We have partnerships with schools worldwide, including a longstanding relationship with St. Paul’s School in Haiti.)
Beginning in JK, language instruction—with ultimate options in Chinese, French, Latin, and Spanish—fosters cross-cultural communication, but it doesn’t stop there. Throughout the grades and the curriculum, classes address global issues, assess international information sources, connect with peers abroad, and encourage students to ditch their goggles to embrace different ways of seeing and knowing.
Our most visible global programs are our international trips, available to middle and upper schoolers on spring break and during the summer. Some are exchange programs, some involve service learning, some have a significant academic component, and some are designed to improve language skills. Many are offered through Students Shoulder to Shoulder, a consortium of schools dedicated to teaching ethical responsibility and leadership. But all of our trips are eye-opening and life-changing—not just because students are immersed in a destination, but because they are well prepared to get the most from the experience and bring it back with them.
Our cosmopolitan enrollment and capital area location also create opportunities for students to expand their worldview, and they seize them. Whether on field trips or in student organizations like Model UN and the Global Citizens Club, students—and graduates—are ready to explore the world wherever they are.