As a freshman you will enroll in the Freshman Seminar in the Common Good, a year-long course coordinated by the Norton Family Center for the Common Good. The seminars meet once a week to explore and discuss a wide range of topics including the nuances of unfolding current events. These small seminars of approximately 15 students enable you to gain confidence in expressing your own ideas, to learn the importance of listening and productive discourse, and to take an engaged approach to citizenship.
If your passion and interest lie in acquiring a greater understanding of the world, the Global & Environmental Studies Certificate program may be perfect for you. The program, overseen by Loomis’ Alvord Center for Global & Environmental Studies, recognizes academic, extracurricular, and experiential studies focused on fulfilling the mission of the school to educate “its students for service in the nation and in today’s global civilization.”
Loomis' Guided Research Projects allow advanced science students to engage in sustained, significant, mentored scientific research. In this year-long, capstone program students work with a science faculty member to conduct authentic research. For a recent molecular biology project, six seniors investigated a factor associated with the progress of the autoimmune disease Multiple Sclerosis working with a Loomis faculty member and a Professor of Biology at Georgetown University. Over the duration of the year, students not only learned techniques in molecular biology and cell culture, but they also learned how to conduct hypothesis-driven research, how to design, analyze, and interpret experiments as well as how to communicate through science writing.
Our environmental sustainability program is student focused. Students investigate real problems/issues the school faces in regards to energy consumption and conservation, waste management, and water. The agricultural program involves the entire community investigating sustainable food systems and promoting working the land whether its planting and harvesting, tending to our flock of laying hens, or working in our apiary.
Unique among most of our peer schools, Loomis offers a four-year Arabic language program with a focus on Modern Standard Arabic and Levantine Colloquial Arabic (from the region including Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and the Palestinian Territories). You can supplement your language studies with an area studies course titled "Middle East: History of Peace and Conflict" (taught by Reem Awaida-Parsons) and "CL English IV: Writing from the Arab World" (taught by Laura Rochette), and a year or term abroad at King’s Academy in Jordan.
Decade after decade, Loomis graduates find that their writing skills far exceed those of many of their peers, no matter what major and career they pursue. With a longstanding emphasis on superior writing, Loomis will teach you not only how to write well, but also how to understand the science of good writing. Our English Department faculty lead these efforts with a four-year writing program, the heart of which is the Sophomore Writing Workshop, which meets once a week for the full year.
The emphasis on good writing does not stop at the threshold to English classrooms, either. In the sciences, you will learn to write cogent lab reports. In history courses, you will develop extensive research papers. In social science classes; philosophy, religion, and psychology electives; and foreign language sections alike, you will compose essays, personal reflections, and narratives. A director of writing works with all departments to identify the writing competencies that we want all of our students to attain by the time they graduate and coordinates programs of instruction needed to meet these goals across the curriculum.
The Henry R. Kravis ’63 Center for Excellence in Teaching provides ongoing professional development of the Loomis faculty. Working from his deeply-held conviction that “great teachers are made, not born,” the center’s director, longtime science faculty member Scott MacClintic ’82, focuses on helping all Loomis faculty members tap into resources within the school and beyond the Island and to consider the value of both new and tried-and-true methods of educating young people. Like any excellent craftsmen, our teachers continuously strive to hone their skills, add new tools to their toolboxes, and creatively take their craft to the next level.
Opening in Fall 2018, the Pearse Hub for Innovation will provide the inspiration, space, training, and support for curricular and extra-curricular innovation, idea incubation, and entrepreneurship. The Hub's classrooms, makers' space, and adaptable space for collaboration and creativity will become a center ideal for project-based learning across disciplines; special programs such as robotics, design thinking, and computer science; and students who in their free time want to conceptualize, design, build, and share their ideas with the wider world.