With 155 boarding and day students, a 500-acre campus in rural Virginia and a 6:1 student-teacher ratio, Foxcroft School can spend a lot of time and attention individualizing and fine-tuning its girls' education. Though known for its STEM focus, the girls-only 9-12 college preparatory boarding and day school school takes great efforts to cater to each student's needs, making sure their time there is as unique as possible with experiential learning programs that help students find their path in the subject of their choosing — from English to fine arts to horseback riding.
A history of helping students learn
"We’ve been educating girls in the ways that fit them best for the past 102 years, and helping each individual girl find her voice," said Academic Dean Courtney Ulmer. "Every girl has a schedule and curriculum that fits their needs; we’ll have girls who come in here who might be taking freshman English but are already in an advanced Calculus course. It's about recognizing what’s right for each girl."
While students have their choice of courses to take and programs in which to participate, Foxcroft School strives to provide them the same level of choice in course materials.
"We want to give our families as many options as possible," Ulmer said. "We do have a digital platform, but our families and our teachers like the flexibility to be able to use a book in as many ways as possible. Some like the ideas that they can rent, some like the idea they can have an eBook, some want books they can underline and annotate."
More digital options for interactive learning
In an effort to provide more access to a wider range of formats and ownership options, Foxcroft partnered with MBS Direct prior to its summer 2016 reading term. They found the array of choices and support for digital content was a hit for both families and staff.
"The flexibility MBS Direct offers families and faculty was really key for us," Ulmer said. "Some of our teachers — especially language teachers — like the amazing online learning tools that are coming with textbooks, where they can assign questions, labs and videos. The other vendors weren’t giving us those package options. When you’re getting into the upper level sciences, those are really important features."
Ulmer described the implementation as smooth and noted MBS Direct's client services team made it easy to find the answers to any questions she had. With a simplified course material fulfillment model in place that required less focus from Foxcroft in the present, school staff can now more easily look to how they will adjust academic offerings and better serve students in the future.
"We did a book buyback for the first time in the last couple years, and I think that’s something we’ll market and get more students involved with going forward," Ulmer said. "Beyond that, I’m really interested to see how many students are going to choose to rent a book, pick eReaders and see who will use all of the different options we can now offer."