Active Participants in Our Democratic Society

Allison Isbell & Margaret Paul
Excerpts from recent emails received from students:

Hi Allison and Margaret,
Hope you all had a relaxing week! We as student government are extremely eager to jump in with some of the projects we want to finish before the end of the school year, and we really want to prioritize the Academy curriculum.

Hi Margaret and Allison,
I am writing on behalf of the LREI Cares Club. For a while now we have been discussing the idea of a community service requirement with an alternative approach. We were wondering if you have any availability to meet with us next or the following week to propose our idea. Let us know what you think when you have the chance. Thanks so much!

Hi Margaret and Allison,
The yearbook editors had an idea for next year's book that we'd like to do on Field Day this year.

In the high school we often reference the section of our mission noting our responsibililty to students becoming  “ . . . active participants in our democratic society, with the creativity, integrity, and courage to bring meaningful change to the world.” 
 
From the outside, this might sound rather ambitious, but from our position among our students we see these characteristics and abilities developing in them every single day.

This spring, our students have been Intiating ideas, solving problems, and working to improve our LREI community at record rates! Margaret and I have joked that we are not going to have a job if our students keep tackling all of the challenges. In the past month, we have received emails (like the ones above) about the following:

  • Students participating in a protest for climate change (led by 9th graders)
  • Students intiating “Red is Green” intiatives to grow sustainable practices in the building (11th graders)
  • Students imagining options for public art around the building (10th graders)
  • Students requesting a change to the sanitary products in the bathrooms (10th graders)
  • Students requesting to join conversations about curriculum (11th graders)
  • Students drafting plans for expanding community service opportunities (11th graders)
  • Students planning in advance for a (surprise) photo in next year’s yearbook (9th, 10th, 11th graders)
  • Students asking to reimagine our 9th/10th Academy program (10th and 11th graders)
  • Students ordering and placing additional clocks and boxes of tissues in all classrooms (10th graders)
  • Seniors arranging meetings with underclassmen to ensure that current student-led programs and groups wil continue once they graduate
The ways our students consciously, creatively, and collaboratively engage in our school gives us great hope for the future. These conversations and learning experiences are not easy and do not always lead to the outcomes students might initially imagine, but the work and thinking that happens in this process leaves an indelible memory on them of how meaningful change happens.

We are grateful for your students, and all of the ways they 
are working with us towards a more just, more caring, more beautiful community.
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