The Chahlavi Center for Global Learning and Engagement, opened in 2021, has become the epicenter for helping faculty, staff and students engage with new learning experiences all over the world. Located on the second floor of Ulmer Hall on the Bolles Upper School San Jose Campus, the center is equipped with technology resources and meeting space for international connection opportunities. Many students and faculty have broadened the scope of learning at Bolles through these resources, including United Nations Sustainable Goals virtual discussions, a conference with Dr. Majfud from Jacksonville University, a dialogue about studying abroad with students at NYU Abu Dhabi and in-person guest speakers from various international backgrounds.
Director of Global Learning and Engagement Natalia Aycart describes the School’s current global innovation efforts as a collaboration between departments and a community movement that is helping students become more fluent, comfortable and marketable in a global setting as they navigate school, college and life beyond.
Opportunities to provide more global focus and perspective to students in the classroom have been prolific all campuses. On the upper school campus, students continued new course study with students around the world through the Global Online Academy, an educational partnership Bolles established two years ago. Student-run clubs have been more organized and focused with events – including weeklong campus concentrations on various cultures, countries and languages. The annual Culture Fair, coordinated by the Student Diversity Committee, allows students to share their diverse cultural backgrounds with peers through dancing, games, cuisine and other engaging activities.
On the Bolles Middle School Bartram Campus, students have learned about various cultures and customs around the world through student-led convocation presentations. On the lower school campuses, innovative global studies have been explored through special guest presentations – including a conversation with a Holocaust survivor – and most pointedly, through the inaugural International Festivals on the Bolles Lower School Ponte Vedra Beach and Whitehurst campuses. On each campus, more than 20 families generously presented on their families’ country, cultures and international experiences. Students on the Whitehurst Campus also shared Grade 3 Heritage Day, during which students showcased research efforts on their families, why they came to America and more information about the countries from which they came.