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Meaningful Work

Margaret Paul
Dear High School Families,
Meaningful work is at the core of progressive practice, recognizing that we learn best when we feel that the work we do in school matters . . . and will matter . . . in our lives beyond the classroom. Two significant pieces of the high school experience--the Junior Class Trip and Senior Project--help us accomplish this value, and we want to share updates on both of these today.

Our Juniors have been working each Wednesday throughout the trimester to identify issues in the United States that are pressing, and that they want to collectively study as a class. Together they researched and discussed everything from policing to income inequality to political ideologies to homelessness (and so many more).

Ultimately, Juniors were tasked with narrowing to 6 issues that they want to study across this year, and will examine deeply during a week in April. Typically, our Junior class travels to 6 locations across the U.S. to engage in the placed-based portion of their research projects. This year, though we do not yet know how this part of the study will occur--potentially as a virtual experience--our students have identified the 6 topics that they feel are critical to study this year.

Criminal Justice: Mass Incarceration and Prison Systems
Criminal Justice: Policing Reform
Environmental Racism: Climate Change and who it Effects
Native Communities and Justice Issues
Voter Suppression
Abortion and Reproductive Rights

As you can see, our Junior class has taken up a slate of topics that reflect both issues they are passionate about and issues that are pressing in our country right now. We are proud of the way they have pursued this project--with the intelligence, enthusiasm, and tenacity that are hallmarks of this class. It is not surprising, but has been exciting to witness.

And very soon, our Seniors will articulate their individual capstone experiences that will take place during trimester 3. Our Class of 2021 has faced adversity and challenge of many kinds over their four years, and move into their final projects with many unknowns. However, their creativity and personal interests are propelling them toward projects that reflect who they are as people, and the interests and passions that fuel them. We can’t wait to share their ideas and project articulations with you very soon.

We offer both of these projects as exemplars for meaningful work--engaging students in projects and courses of study that matter--that leads them into other meaningful opportunities throughout their lives. This is the type of learning experience we strive to provide everyday for all of our students.
Click the image below to browse through last year's Senior Projects.

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