Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Relationship Sprouts for High School

Also in the Weekly Post, October 28, 2010.

As you already know, the Post Oak High School will feature innovative partnerships with Museum District organizations that allow Post Oak faculty and students to extend the “classroom” beyond the school walls. These are key relationships that are at the core of a unique curriculum for the High School. Since our conversation with the Houston Museum of Natural Science (see The Weekly Post from Sept. 24, 2010), we have also begun talking with Deborah Canon, the CEO and president of the Houston Zoo, and Peter Marzio, the director of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

The goals of these partnerships is to provide faculty and students with a broad array of options in creating an engaging school experience unlike anything else. We anticipate the curators, educators, and professionals at the Museums to function as adjunct faculty for the Post Oak High School.  They will provide expert resources for staff and direct, engaging research connections for students.  Post Oak, will work closely with the museums to support their approaches in education, particularly for middle school and high school students.

Two weeks ago, I had an encouraging meeting at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston with the Director, Dr. Peter Marzio and attended by Post Oak board member Windi Grimes, Head of School John Long, and Development Director Christina Kopanidis-Cantu. This week, I hosted Dr. Victoria Ramirez, the Education Director at the MFAH. As she toured the school with me, it was clear that the partnership was going to be mutually beneficial beyond just the High School students.  After seeing the Infant Communities and Primary environments, Dr. Ramirez asked Early Childhood Director Mirani Smith how the museum could be helpful and how she could find out more about the programs at Post Oak.

My follow-up conversation with Dr. Ramirez provided ample time (before the fire drill!) to brainstorm some ideas and considerations for the partnership between the two organizations going forward.  In the coming weeks, I’ll visit the MFAH again and meet curators and conservationists who we anticipate will be joining the Post Oak community as adjunct faculty members for the high school.