May-June 2014 | FUTURE FOCUSED




Learning and discovery at an early age leads to success for students at Worcester Preparatory School

Written By: Jonathan Westman | Photographer: Grant L. Gursky

Worcester Preparatory School in Berlin has a storied tradition of providing its students with an exceptional education that propels them to the pinnacles of higher education. In fact, graduates from the last four commencements are currently enrolled in 81 different universities in 21 states, including Stanford, MIT, NYU, Yale, Duke, Vanderbilt, Fordham and Brown, to name just a few. 

The foundation for success at Worcester Prep begins in the lower school, where children enrolled in Kindergarten through fifth grade are taught a diverse curriculum that includes traditional and accelerated programs in reading, mathematics, science, social science, English, spelling and handwriting. Students at these ages also receive instruction in Spanish and French, which emphasizes oral communication and fosters an appreciation of the languages and their cultural heritages. Art, music, computer education, library science and physical education classes are also major elements of the lower school’s program. 

Modern technology is also embraced at Worcester Prep, where young students utilize the very latest computers, tablets and beyond. In as early as the Pre-K and kindergarten levels, children learn to program and use robots in their classrooms.

“This is their world, and we are delighted to offer our students the tools to enhance their learning abilities at such a young age,” said Dr. Merle Marsh, the school’s director of special projects. “Our teachers are so excited about the opportunity to engage the students with state-of-the-art and interactive technologies.”

During the 2014-2015 school year, Worcester Prep will extend its iPad program to include students in grades 4 through 10. 

Beyond classroom technology with iPads, students Pre-K through 5th grade enjoy learning about computers in the lower school computer lab — a bright, attractive, resource-filled facility where both Microsoft and Apple have filmed infomercials and advertisements. It’s not unusual to see students in this lab and in the middle and upper school computer labs during any free time they may have.

At Worcester Prep, all students learn how to use technology to assist them in their learning. In computer and engineering classes, they use technology to create different types of media and to experiment with robotics and 3-D printing. Some work on video, some on radio broadcasting and some on websites. Video-conferencing connects students with schools, colleges and agencies such as NASA.

In April, one of Worcester Prep’s robotics team members was honored with first place in programming in the Washington, D.C. region during a Botball competition. The team placed third in the same competition, which included some of the 
best young high school programmers in Maryland, D.C. and Virginia.

“We are proud of our students’ achievements in the digital world,” said Dr. Barry W. Tull, headmaster, “for we understand that technology is an essential ingredient in education today. It is our belief that a traditional academic program, along with emphasis upon critical and creative thinking and use of technologies in learning, is necessary for student success.”


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