Exciting Developments in our High School
Thank you to everyone who joined us for the ribbon-cutting and official opening of our new High School building as part of our annual Michaelmas celebration on September 29th! The design and construction of the new building was a collaborative effort and represents EWS taking the first courageous step towards the implementation of our Campus Master Plan.
The building provides a much-needed 4th main lesson room as well as a shared area for a small classroom and community space. The new construction is the most visible example of growth in our High School, but it is only one of many exciting new developments.
This past spring, the Emerson Waldorf School College of Teachers and Board of Directors jointly created an EWS High School Advisory Group comprised of full-time faculty and a number of EWS parents. The group met many times over the spring to develop some initial recommendations for improvements to our High School facilities and programs. Many of these recommendations have already come to fruition and are benefiting our students this year. We wanted to share some of these with our whole community, let you know what is still to come, and how everyone can contribute.
Science Lab Improvements
Over the summer, we made a number of improvements to our science facilities. Lab stations were constructed in the classroom to allow students to conduct individual experiments. We purchased new microscopes and other lab equipment and we invested in a stand-alone fume hood that allows our faculty to safely conduct more advanced chemistry experiments.
Our juniors and seniors were offered an Exploratory Biology Lab elective this fall which is providing hands-on laboratory experience. Just as students have been able to engage their will in our arts studio, they can now do so in a very tangible way in our science lab. We are especially grateful to EWS parents Rob Schertz and Tina Stevens for making this course possible. Our science teacher, Clancy Brown, has also been instrumental in the lab improvement process.
Developing Life Skills
To better serve the evolving needs of our High School students, we have launched a Life Skills program. The purpose of the program is to support each student in the development of their capacity to make informed, healthy decisions during their adolescent years. Through the four years of the program, the students will interact with the following themes through informational content, experiential processes, and group discussion: health and well-being, technology, human relationships, drugs/alcohol and addiction, and independence into adulthood. Candor Plaza, who has been working with our Middle School Coming of Age program for many years, is developing the program in conjunction with our High School faculty. This year, students will have 3 six-week modules of weekly Life Skills classes.
Service - Living in Community
“The need for imagination, a sense of truth, and a feeling of responsibility – these three forces are the very nerve of education."
– Rudolf Steiner
Our High School students are natural leaders in our school community. Over the past few years many of our students have chosen to serve our school as well as their own neighborhoods, faith-based and wider communities. To help our students develop into conscious world citizens, we are incorporating a service aspect into our curriculum. Many of our students are currently serving our school community this fall in classes and around campus. The program will grow to include service to the wider community, service trips, and guiding students in developing their own service projects in areas where they have the greatest interest.
We have also made some practical improvements by installing musical instrument storage in the Brown Wing and hiring part-time administrative assistance in the High School office.
Looking Towards the Future…
All of us in the EWS community – parents, faculty, students, alumni – have a vested interest in the future of the EWS High School. We are confident that all of these new developments will make a tangible difference in the experience of our High School students, and we also envision a future for our High School with even greater growth and more improvements.
The High School Advisory Group has created a working list of goals for our High School in the following areas:
- Faculty Support and Development
- Student Life and Culture
- Curriculum and Programs
- Physical Space and Facilities
- Parents and Community Engagement
(Photo: Our current senior class)
These goals will be shared with our High School parent community at the next All HS Parent Evening on October 10th so that feedback and input can be gathered. We will also be reaching out to our current students, wider parent body, and alumni parents and students for input. All of this feedback will allow goals to be refined so that the group can then identify specific steps we can take as a school to achieve them.What Can You Do…
- Share your feedback. Current High School parents will be part of the October 10th workshop after which we will reach out to the wider parent body. You can share input at any time with members of the High School Advisory Group.
- Learn more about our High School – Plan to attend one of the many events that provide a glimpse into the life of our High School this year:
a. Open House – November 9th
b. Fall Talent Evening
c. Junior Internship Presentations
d. Senior Project Presentations
e. Best in Show
- Parents of Rising 8th and 9th grade students are also welcome to
schedule a personal tour with our High School Coordinator, Therisa
High School Advisory Group Members
- Laura Guinan
- Rob Rich
- Peter Moyers
- Jessie Rabius
- Amy Kortus
- Therisa Pienaar
- Ingeborg Boesch
- Christina Wise
- Bob Levin
- Catherine Belitsky
- Rob Schertz
- Merideth Tomlinson
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