Settling In and Getting Started
A little over a month into the school year and our new space already feels like home! Our year began, as always, with a few weeks of team-building activities (as we came back together as a community and got to know our new space and our new students) and with the joyful work of preparing for our first classes and projects.
For many of us, it can be hard to imagine what the days might look like at a Free School. And even harder to imagine how the academics work when students are responsible for designing their own class schedules.
SMC has three 9- or 10-week class sessions. Before each session starts, the Academic Committee solicits class requests and class offerings from students and staff. They ask questions like “is this class lecture-based, project-based, or hands-on?” “what level of commitment will this class require from students?” and “how many weeks will this class meet?” They find facilitators for classes that have been requested, then put out signup sheets to get a sense of which students are interested in which classes, and finally put together a tentative schedule which they bring to the school meeting where the entire student body has the chance to tweak the schedule until it works for everyone.
Our first session of the year is in full swing and packed with classes, including Cosplay, Math Fun, Sociology, Hands-on Science, Independent Research and Public Speaking, How to Run A Con, Current Events, Neuroscience, Drama, Woodworking, and How To Start A Business.