Letter from the Clerk 2017

students doing real work

As the school’s farm coordinator, I have a special fondness for late summer. It’s the time of harvest, when the hard work is done and the land is ripe with rewards. The apple trees we pruned in spring weigh heavy with fruit. The golden corn and sunflowers stand tall in the garden, and trays of red tomatoes and yellow squash fill the kitchen. It’s colorful, it’s bountiful, and it’s gratifying.

As one of the Arthur Morgan School’s co-clerks, I have a similar feeling about the beginning of the school year. All summer the staff have been working to improve our program and get things ready for the year ahead. When the students return, they will be entering a community that is prepared to ignite their curiosity and build their confidence. Our staff knows how to keep our students excited to learn while also helping them understand who they are as individuals.

Here are just some of the things we’ve been working on:

  • a new blacksmithing forge built by the Arete Project that is almost ready for students to begin learning metalwork in a spacious and safe environment
  • a integrated Settlers of AMS unit that effectively includes Math, Language Arts and independent explorations with the hands on resources of our campus,
  • a Personal Growth curriculum that matches each of our students needs with the subjects that are most pertinent to them,
  • comprehensive training for outdoor trips to ensure that students have a fun and safe time while adventuring in the outdoors,
  • a new Spanish curriculum that offer a wide variety of learning avenues for each student’s style and interest level,
  • a structured 9th grade program that keeps students on track for transitioning to high school after AMS,
  • an intensive training for academic advisors so that they can provide better academic guidance to students,
  • student committee time which enables students to have a larger voice in how their community is run, and
  • studio time allowing for experimentation and self-directed learning in our many art spaces.

We are also welcoming two new staff this year.  Karly Strukamp, who will be houseparenting in Falcon and teaching Algebra 1A.  David Saulsbury, the older brother of one our alumni, is our intern for the year.

It has been a summer of hard work and now its time for our students to reap the benefits. I am looking forward to a year in which AMS continues to support and prepare young adults as they figure out their place in the world.