Letter from the Clerk – Fall 2018

a summer garden

For both students and educators, summer is a time for adventure, relaxation, and rejuvenating the spirit. I like to spend mine seeing family and exploring these woods. While there, I remember that we operate much like the forest surrounding us; relying on an annual cycle to spur growth.  In going our separate ways for a time and circling back around, we bring new questions, new passions, and new energy to contribute to forming the coming year’s community.

Looking at Old and Welcoming the New

Summer allows us to take a deep breath, a step back, and ask, “What can we do better?” This perspective allows us to let go of unhealthy patterns of relating to ourselves and each other and set bright intentions for the future. As a staff, we enjoy putting our heads together during this time to dream up what could be next for Arthur Morgan School and challenge ourselves to refine our existing programs. We have some great ideas!

middle school staff brainstormingFirst off. we are pleased to welcome some new staff to our community this year. Claire D’Gaia joined us at the last minute and will be a houseparent-only in Dewing House. Kevyn Breedon and Annie Livingston are our interns for the year. They all have lots of varied experience and interests and are contributing so much to our school already.

By the initiative, fundraising, and hard work of our most recently graduated ninth graders (and with the help of Tal Galton and The Arete Project), the “Honey House” renovation is nearing completion! It will be a cozy, well-loved space for students to seek refuge come cold season, as the school’s sick bay.

Opportunities for More Play

After being inspired by South Toe Elementary hosting The World Peace Game on their campus this past spring, Arthur Morgan School and Celo Community teamed up to send one of our own, Isaiah Miller, to be trained as a facilitator. We look forward to exploring the possibility with students of hosting a World Peace Game or a similar AMS adaptation in the future.

middle schooler washing dishesI’d like to offer special thanks to rising ninth grader, Frank Buddenhagen for his leadership in work projects last spring clearing the brushy area beneath our zip line. Due to students’ hard work, this fun and adventurous piece of equipment should be up and running again this fall for them to try out (with staff supervision, careful training in safe use and parental permission, of course).

New Classes and Chances to Learn

The farm now has pigs!  Interested students and those taking Kavita’s animal-based farm internship this fall will get to hang out with and take care of four young pigs that spent their summer with Camp Celo.

Other core classes and internships for the fall include a study in the art and science of light with Justin, a look at feminism through the lens of historic and contemporary women in the forge with Rebecca, and a “Mindful Maintenance” internship with Matt that will study anatomy and physics.

Academic Committee is excited to share some changes to our schedule.  We’ll now be learning Spanish 4 days a week in a shorter morning time-slot to promote greater retention and consistency in this subject.  Friday art classes will be replacing last year’s “studio time” as a period for more formal study.  Additionally, our teachers are excited to explore and develop cottage industries as a part of their curriculum.  Be on the lookout for the sale of tasty treats from our kitchen, or arts and crafts from the print-making, fibers, ceramics, forge, and wood studios!  Rumor has it we may even be opening an AMS Etsy store, so stay tuned.

The end of summer always bring a moment of sadness for me as I know it will be getting colder and my days enjoying walks through the woods are numbered.  However with so much on the horizon at AMS, it’s an exciting time to be here.  I look forward to all of us growing together.

-Jake Silver