There is something to a name. Names have meaning and too often we take them granted without ever exploring their meanings. Nike is the name of a greek god of victory; an appropriate name for a athletic shoe company. Lego stems from the dutch phrase leg godt, which means “play well”. The term Étude was was also selected in order to assign a single word to our educational philosophy.
Étude (to make the accent over the E on an Apple keyboard, simply press the “option” key and the “E” key at the same time and then press the “E” key) comes from the French word meaning to study. It is, also, the musical term that we believe really captures the Étude drive behind the schools. An étude is a piece of music created by a musician for the purpose of improving a specific technique while also providing an audience with something beautiful. Études take the concept of practice (or study) to another level. Instead of rehearsing scales in a soundproof room, a musician must interact with realistic conditions of how music can work to make a song and how a song can be created to please an audience. In a sense, it is the difference between watching a Packers practice versus the final scrimmage before the regular season. Practicing scales and learning other techniques are like watching a practice. An étude is one step away from the real deal. This is what our schools are about! We are learning. We are practicing, but the work our students do has meaning. We need to apply real concepts. Our science needs to include scientific observation and experimentation that lead to the creation of something new. This concept of applying real problem solving in a model that supports practice, with all of the trying, failing, and reflection pervades our culture.
Inherent in using a French term, is the issue of pronunciation. We see the “é” and think of the long “e” sound. The word is actually pronounced with a long “a” sound. For those of us who remember phonetics, Étude sounds like a't(y)ood. We hope to turn this into a movement; a movement on how to correctly pronounce our name.
In Étude High School's first iteration, our students referred to themselves as Étudians; a name that was worn with pride and gave a sense of belonging. The decision to bring all of the schools back under the Étude name, brings us back to our roots. The intent of our rebranding process is to unite our schools with our origins; a name of meaning and a name that elicits pride and belonging.