New Year, New Possibilities

I’m excited to be entering my second year at Friends Select School as the middle school director. I love the middle school years—the dynamism, the seeking, the flowering of possibilities. I’m particularly excited by our middle school, and some of the new things that will be rolling out this year that will give our students increased opportunities for agency and further strengthen an already strong and warm community.

Time is the single most important resource a school owns, and it is amazing how much can be done with the share of this finite commodity. I’m also amazed when a small tweak to the way we use our time leads to a ripple effect of great possibilities. For example, upper school and middle school administrators began a conversation last year about aligning parts of the schedule—specifically the activity period that starts every day at 9:25 a.m.—to avoid conflicts with assemblies and other large-scale activities. A happy confluence came out of this that has allowed us to rearrange some things with clubs and advisories while adding a period each week devoted to student/faculty committee work.

Middle school committees will give our students large roles in planning and executing worship, sustainability, beautification, and social action. Some committees will be co-clerked by a student and a faculty member; others will be clerked only by students. As you may know, we work extensively in the middle school on helping students to discover their authentic voices, learn to advocate for themselves, and to activate their agency in the world. We see this new level of committee work enhancing and extending student experience in all of these areas. I am excited not only by what this will do for our students, but by what it will enable them to do for our community.