On Sunday, November 17, a group of 15 Arundel High School juniors and seniors will extend their work in the school’s Community Development and Global Citizenship signature program as they embark on a 10-day excursion to North Yorkshire, England.

Intended to immerse the students in global community dialogue, the trip will challenge students to cultivate global skills, build cultural understanding, and connect with global youth leaders. Through comparative education and research activities, the students will visit three North Yorkshire schools to meet with British administrators, teachers, and students.  Looking to also serve as ambassadors, the students will build a relationship between AACPS’ special education Best Buddies program and North Yorkshire schools.  Students will also explore themes of education, leadership, and the environment through collaborative student-designed research projects, developing a series of action steps to pursue in England to answer a research question related to their theme.

Expanding their reach beyond schools, the students will visit North Yorkshire, where they will be hosted by the Lord Mayor of York Councillor Julie Gunnell. They also will meet with leaders in the community by hosting World Cafes, where Yorkshire community members will be invited to discuss themes around global citizenship and compare issues relevant to both communities.

Making historic connections between Yorkshire and Maryland, the students will stay on the grounds of Kiplin Hall, a historic manor home built by the colonizer of Maryland, George Calvert, in the early 1620s.

Expected to be the first of many, this trip was established as part of an ongoing relationship between Kiplin Hall and the University of Maryland and developed through Arundel High School’s Integrated Community Stakeholder Team (ICST) and Arundel High School signature program teachers.  Additional trips are tentatively planned for Performing and Visual Arts (PVA) Magnet High School Visual Arts students in May 2014 and Theater and Creative Writing students in August 2014.

Anyone interested in following the students through their experience can view the AACPS Global Connect Blog at or follow the adventure on Twitter @glocalsignature.