Last Week’s Highlights

Each Monday, we go over a few of the highlights from the previous week, just to give everyone a taste of what our students are up to.

Social-Entrepreneurial Program

Our Social-Entrepreneurial students hard at work

Our Social-Entrepreneurial students hard at work

Because it was our first week, most of the days consisted of the students playing get-to-know-you games first thing in the morning, followed by seminars where we explained the various processes and methods of LiHigh School.

Each afternoon, the students participated in our “Toastmasters” workshop, where each student gives either a prepared or impromptu speech. Everyone gave a prepared “Ice Breaker” speech, where they introduced themselves to the class. Some of the more interesting impromptu speeches involved students answering questions such as “What happens after we die?” to “Tell us about the time you met an alien” to “Tell us about the time you went insane.”

The students also partook in workshops in Martial Arts and Quantitative Reasoning, and created mind maps that helped them deepen their learning goals when it comes to their passions and interests.

From an advisor’s perspective, the highlight of the week was our workshop in shared values. The students were divided into groups and given a worksheet that listed close to 50 different possible values (from “love” to “beauty” to “independence,” etc.). Each group had to come to a consensus on their top three to five shared values. After consensus was reached, the students rotated into different groups to repeat the exercise, forcing them to support the values they brought with them or reach a compromise on the new group’s set of shared values. Once all of the students had been grouped with every other student, we came together to hash out the entire group’s set of shared values. It was a long, thoughtful, and sometimes passionate discussion, but by the end of the exercise, the group had decided on the following five values by order of priority:

  1. Love
  2. Honesty
  3. Joy
  4. Motivation
  5. Connections

It took a lot of effort to reach a consensus, but that was the entire point. Because of that effort, we all know what we, as a group, stand for. And that makes it all worth it.

Therapeutic Program

Our Therapeutic Program started our first day by enjoying a beautiful sunny picnic at Lake Bomoseen while our construction crew put the finishing touches on the new building.

The students were also introduced to Chef Bill’s cooking skills and received an introduction to the equipment and space of our brand-new commercial kitchen.

The majority of the week involved making a solid group effort to get used to our beautiful new building and to identify what we still need to do to make it more inviting. It will take some time before both our students and our staff feel comfortable here, but we are confident that we’ll all soon take ownership of this new space.

There was a real buzz in the building all week, and a whole lot of exploration of the new classes, new spaces, new staff, and new students.

All in all, a highly successful week!

Author: Kyle Callahan

Hi, I'm Kyle. I'm an advisor at LiHigh School. I've been involved in progressive education since I was in high school. I was an original member (and student representative) of the Progressive Program at Green Mountain College, and for my Master's degree, I attended Goddard College, which started the trend toward progressive education in the 1960s. Along with teaching at LiHigh School, I teach courses in creative writing and communications at Green Mountain College. I live with my wife and daughter in Poultney.

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