The Stone Independent School
Education is not preparation for life -- education is life itself.
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Notes From Stone

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2018-2019 Re-Enrollment Letter

Dear Stone Pioneer Family,

At 8:00am on August 20th, 2017 we embarked together on what has proven to be a remarkable journey -- opening a first-of-its kind School in downtown Lancaster.  

Over these inaugural eight months Stone students have learned multi-variable vector calculus, how to apply game theory to decision science, and how to “think like an economist”; they have recorded podcasts and short films; they have completed research projects on gun ownership and gender neutral bathrooms and John Brown; they have applied typological analysis to grave markers at the Shreiner-Concord cemetery; they have learned to write and apply for grants; they have built large-scale art installations and studied the finite elements of design; they have taken physics and chemistry at Millersville and calculus at Franklin and Marshall and Latin at the Lancaster Center for Classical Study; they have learned how to write a business plan and pitch a small business idea and they have studied Lancaster City from a 50,000 foot “systems”-perspective.  

Stone students organized the March For Our Lives; they have had substantive conversations with Mayor Sorace and City Councilman Ismail Smith-Wade-El and Representative Lloyd Smucker; they have completed projects with the Lancaster Conservancy and the Junior League; they have spent class periods at Lancaster Market, Gallery Row, the Ware Center, the Lancaster Science Factory, the Lancaster Community Foundation, the Lancaster Historical Society, The Islamic Center, and dozens of other locations around the city.  

Stone students have participated in the Lancaster-Lebanon League playoffs, as well as the PIAA District and State tournaments; two Stone students performed in the Harrisburg Youth Symphony Orchestra; five of our students took part in the Parade On The Arts; one of our students released an album on iTunes and on Spotify.  Last week we sent our first students to the Pennsylvania Latin Festival, a month ago we sent our first Stone cohort to Nepal, and next Fall we will send the Stone Independent Class of 2018 off to college.

That’s a pretty amazing first year.

But of course, it is imperative that our young institution grow in complexity, rigor, and joy.  We are excited to invest in our new campus; we are equally excited to invest in additional faculty members who will add depth to our mathematics, physics, and English programs.  Over the next year we will develop new laboratory space; further leverage our relationships with a number of community partners in order to build program; continue to expand a “mastery”-based system that will push Stone toward the front of an important national conversation about assessment; institute a Junior-year workshop program similar to our senior Capstone project; invest further in “real world” STEM education; grow our athletic programs and our art programs; and explore innovative ways to further our commitment to authentic project-based learning.

And, best of all, we will welcome a new cohort of families to this powerful community.

On behalf of our Faculty and Board of Trustees, thank you for joining us in this extraordinary journey.  Working at Stone has been the honor of a lifetime -- I can’t wait to see all that we accomplish next year.

With much more than thanks,

Mike Simpson, Head of School

Mike Simpson