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The Urban Community Magazine | Fall 2010
Message from Mark
Conversations at the Heart of Urban
Whether among alums, teachers and students, or even with the medium in art class, the
conversations at Urban reflect the heart and soul of the school.
by Mark Salkind (’70), Head of School


Welcome to our second edition of the online Urban Community Magazine. One thing that we learned over the decades is that our alumni enjoy staying in touch with each other - in person, in print and now online. This edition of the Urban Community Magazine features class notes that span our entire 45 years, as well as a special story provided by our Alumni Council that explains the many ways Urban graduates can communicate with each other and get involved with the school.

The Alumni Council was "re-incarnated" in 2007, with the primary goal of stregthening the alumni community so individuals within it are more connected to each other and more involved in the life of the school today. Our alumni community has brought fresh energy, collective wisdom and wise counsel to Urban these past four years, and we look forward to a long and fruitful relationship with each of you in the years to come. The Alumni Council has even completed a “course report” on its work thus far; take a look and see what you’re doing well and where we could use help!

Also in this issue, Arts Department Chair Kate Randall provides an overview of Urban's Stone Carving class, taught again this past spring term, and the "conversations" students have with this challenging medium throughout the 12-week course. We also are pleased to share the  I Am Project, designed this winter by Urban's MultiCultural team of students and teachers. This series of photographs of Urban students and faculty were crafted to embody/reflect/express the theme of January's Month of Understanding, Making the Invisible, Visible theme and creatively show the "concealed" elements of diversity at Urban. Hanging in one of Urban's main hallway galleries, the I Am Project sparked some wonderful conversations between students and among the many visitors we host here.

And our final article for this issue of the Urban Community Magazine focuses on a topic that is fundamental to good teaching at Urban: How do we know students are learning? Alumni and current students can answer this question with certainty, but how do we talk about it among ourselves and with our colleagues across the educational spectrum? Dean of Faculty and English teacher Jonathan Howland and longtime math teacher Henri Picciotto share their perspectives on some of the ways Urban teachers measure and assess student learning.

Thank you again for being a part of our Urban community and joining the conversations of the school. We trust the summer brings you an opportunity to step out of your routine and to renew yourself.  We will be back next fall with another issue of the Urban Community Magazine.

Warm regards,
Mark

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