There are several parklets in Philadelphia, but many communities simply can't afford them because of their substantial design and building costs. That's why my co-teacher Heidi Hutchison and I charged our students with providing high quality, volunteer parklet design services to two of those communities: Parkside and Mt. Airy.
The overall goal of the Excellence in Teaching and Learning committee is to develop a comprehensive and contemporary teaching master plan. Already it has been instrumental in the process of hiring a Director of Equity and Inclusion and a Director of City Curriculum. These two senior administrators work with students and parents, faculty and staff, promoting cross-cultural competency and connecting the Friends Select community with the larger community of Philadelphia and our society. In addition, this committee has facilitated other committees such as City Curriculum, Student Voice and Agency, Professional Development and Ongoing Discovery, Quakerism, Wellness, Visual and Performing Arts and Athletics, and Equity and Inclusion, which reflect the school’s core principles.
This committee continues to implement a strategic plan that:
• Ensures best practice through ongoing discovery and professional development.
•Enhances cross-cultural competency and experience.
•Defines the role of athletics and the visual and performing arts in the program.
•Provides structures and leadership opportunities that elevate the student voice and agency for change.
•Sustains a strong commitment to Quaker values, social justice, and a culture of inclusion and respect.
•Leverages external partnerships to meet teaching and learning goals.
I wanted to share how the upper school has promoted student voice and agency in the current school year.
This year’s 8th grade students have proven themselves to be very invested in our community. They are the weavers and the cloth itself—the action inseparable from the end.
The culminating weeks of the year in lower school bring so many special, celebratory moments where we are often struck by just how much our children have grown and accomplished.