Founded by John Malone of Colorado in 2000, the Malone Family Foundation has established scholarships for students in grades 7 -12 who are in the top of their class and have the desire and drive to educate themselves to the very best of their ability, but whose families cannot afford the tuition and expenses required by leading independent schools. The Foundation has sought out excellent partners: independent secondary schools with an intense interest in educating the gifted and talented.
In 2014, Severn proudly joined the Malone Schools Online Network (MSON)
, a consortium of 20 schools that have received funding from the Malone Family Foundation in recognition of their interest in and success with educating gifted and talented students.
MSON courses promote the values of the Malone Family Foundation and are taught by teachers from Severn School and other Malone Schools in the Network. These teaching professionals are experts in their fields, have experience with independent school education, and share a commitment to excellence, small class sizes, and personal relationships. Course offerings target the most talented high school students at member schools. These students demonstrate sufficient independence and commitment to succeed in a virtual discussion seminar setting.
Each course takes a blended approach, combining synchronous instruction, real-time video conferencing seminars, with asynchronous instruction, recorded lectures, and exercises students complete outside of the class. The result is somewhere between a “flipped classroom” and a “virtual Harkness table.” The Harkness table is a large, oval table used in a style of teaching, the Harkness Method, wherein students sit at the table with their teachers. This Socratic method of teaching is meant to encourage classes to be held in a discursive manner.
Each course has a minimum of six students and a maximum of 16 students, allowing for a virtual discussion seminar, and is delivered in a high-definition classroom set-up.
MSON courses last 15 weeks each semester.