In the first five weeks of the school year we have focused on the development of resources. First, looking at the questions that we have and the curiosities that we’ve developed. In students learning plans, they are to ask specific questions about the things that they are wondering about:
Ana - Can I feel an extroverted energy after a french conversation rather than an introverted fatigue?
Cole - What makes for a compelling storyline that keeps a reader hooked in?
Jake - How did the Greek classics influence the Italian Renaissance?
Neveah - How does greed affect us?
Ashlynn - How did the Native American’s medicine influence their communities?
Iona - What makes us who we are? How is identity formed?
Bruce - Why is the world trending towards authoritarianism?
Madison - How does one culture influence another?
Sierra - What are the primary values and beliefs that form and guide each of the Abrahamic religions?
Calen - Do I have what it takes to produce good video content?
Izzy - How can I experiment with other art styles and step out of my comfort zone?
Nate - What will life be like 100 million years from now? What about the geography? Weather?
Vivi - What relevance do the works of the beat authors have today?
Our wondering has turned into curiosity. Curiosity into questions, questions into search terms, and from search terms into resources. Resources of the academic kind. We’ve looked at refining these systems of searching to understand the difference between truth and opinion in the information that we find. We’ve started to look at the kind of information that we find and consider ‘who are the authors?’ that have written the material we are consuming.
For more information see these two slideshows put together by our wonderful Pilot support Librarian, Meg Allison:
Izzy Giammusso has been getting down to business learning Photoshop and digital illustration !
you're invited to the Pilot Potluck Thursday, October 3rd 5:30-7 pm
Thank you to the Giammusso's for offering to host this year's Pilot gathering at their home.
Details for the event: THURSDAY, OCTOBER 3RD 5:30-7 PM
1337 Adamant Rd, Adamant, VT 05640
Please bring a dish or beverage to share if you can, but we definitely don't need everyone to bring something.
RSVP to Amy at firstname.lastname@example.org by Tuesday, October 1st if you can make it.
If your last name begins with A-L bring a savory dish or finger food.
If your last name begins with K-Z bring a dessert, or beverage.
Please park at the end of the driveway.
See you there!
We are still looking for a few mentors!
Final snapshot of student progress for the week: Cole Dyer has written many words!
Here is an excerpt from his in progress novel:
The passage was narrow. The rough stone walls brushed his shoulders on either side. Here and there a small stream dribbled from some unknown source above, filling the space with the noise of trickling water. Auro reached his hands up, feeling for a ceiling above him. His hands passed through empty air. A cold sweat broke across his brow. In the darkness, the tunnel could extend for a foot or a hundred above him. Now that he thought of it, he was sure he could hear the sound of the water echoing far above. Auro turned to retreat before he fell into another set of twitches.
Scratch, scratch. Auro froze. Scratch scratch scratch. Slowly, Auro turned back, listening intently. Concentrating, he could hear small squeaks through the trickling water and the scrabbling. Rats. Food. His stomach rumbled. Those rats would sustain him. In these caves the rats had no predators. They didn’t try to run or bite. Auro could simply grab as many as he could carry and bring them back to the central cavern. The noises were coming from further down the tunnel. Further into the high, open chasm, where any manner of creature could perch above, waiting. His stomach growled again. This could be his last chance to for another week.
Taking a deep breath, he took a step forward. His tunnels. Step. The darkness loomed above. His tunnels. Step. A faint breeze drifted down from some unseen opening far above. Auro shivered. His tunnels. Step. The scratching echoed through the chasm again. This time from above. Auro froze. Something was up there. Something was watching. He felt its eyes burning through him. The unseen watcher clattered again. Auro’s head snapped to the side. Hide. The tightness began pushing in on him like a vice, slowly being tightened. Disappear. The food. He had to get to the food. Hide. The knot of hunger in his stomach twisted. Disappear. His tunnels. He had to go on. Without food he would die as surely as if the mysterious watcher struck. Auro gritted his teeth. Hide. Disappear. His tunnels. Step. His head continued to snap around, eyes trying to pierce the darkness. Hide. Disappear. His tunnels. Step. The vice continued to tighten on his chest. Hide. Disappear. His tunnels. Step. The scratching ahead was close now. Only a few more steps and he’d reach the rats. Hide. Disappear. His- A loud crack rang through the cavern.
Enjoy the beautiful weekend!
Be well, until next time.
Congratulations Senior Pilot Graduates!
May you continue to be empowered learners whereever the road may lead.
YOU GOT THIS.
Exhibitions begin in 9 days! Please see the schedule by clicking the button above, and save the date for our student presentations.
Have a great and restful long weekend. Sleep is an important part of caring for ourselves in this busy season.
some short and sweet weekly highlights for you...
It's really feeling like spring, finally, and a few students are starting to see new growth in their project work. This time of year sometimes starts to slow down a bit, but this year we're really getting going in some areas. Our highlights of this week include, but are not limited to:
Mentor Appreciation Night! It was great to see all the students from our personalized learning programs gather at this event to give thanks and praise to our mentors. Projects take off a lot when students get to work with a mentor in the community. Mentors are an essential part of our success. Thanks and thanks again to our mentors all those committed to showing up for their mentor and being grateful.
Iona Bristol taught her first of three lessons at Rumney Elementary to a class of first graders. She wants them to know more about climate change and what we can do to combat it. Her mission is to get them started early so that they can make small steps throughout their lives to solve the climate crisis. Iona also spent many hours with scissors in the past week making them all tote bags out of donated used t-shirts. They got to decorate them and take them home. I hope to see them at the farmer's market carrying their veggies home soon!
We learned a lot from the first graders, too. I learned a great deal about angler fish and deep sea exploration. Who knew there are 200 different species of anglerfish!? Turns out Owen and I have a shared love for documentaries that show us what we cannot see at the bottom of the ocean. It was great to see that they are doing some independent research in their class... future Pilot students!!
Iona will visit with a 3rd/4th grade class and a 6th grade class before the end of May. She's doing great work! I love seeing out older students connect with the younger ones in our district. I often feel that there is too big a divide between elementary and middle/high school. I would love to bridge the gap.
Cultural Diversity Day at U-32!
It's still happening! There are events tonight starting at 5:30 pm. Gräe did another version of their Microaggressions workshop. Ana Young, Dane Liebermann, and Madison Roberge are all home! Welcome back!! They got a chance to present about their experiences studying abroad in Morocco and India. Great traditional dress worn by all of them. The dance moves were also beautiful.
Neveah West found a writing mentor! She will be working with Josie Colt a former U-32 grad who had both Chris and I as teachers about 8 years ago.
Questions from Seminar:
The questions I asked in the Thursday Seminar this week were 100% inspired by the first graders. I was very excited about their enthusiasm and their honesty. Consider these:
What do you want to know more about? What is peaking your curiosity?
I am attempting to have you consider that there are things you don't know. Sometimes teenagers present an attitude of knowing it all. I want us to consider the ways that not-knowing might benefit the way we inquire about our projects.
What could you be more honest about, to yourself, or others?
These are life lessons... you see?
On Monday, the Pilot Art students will head to the Hall Art Foundation in Reading, Vermont. Remember to bring your own lunch!
And it's hard to believe but... exhibitions start in just over two weeks. The schedule will be coming out very soon.
From the Pilot Archives: May 4, 2012
As a reminder of the cyclical nature of life, here's some Pilot TGIF history written by Chris seven years ago, almost to the day.
“And, in a fitting analogy to the experience of school in this last mad rush to the end, it is already May as I write those words. Here we are, arriving back from break, saying hello, getting organized, and it’s already Friday. So it goes, the annual challenge to make the last six weeks of school as relevant and rigorous as the first six.
And in a side note, George pointed out yesterday how great it is to work in a field that has such clear starts and stops: our work comes to an end for the year, has a clear beginning in the fall, etc. This aspect of schooling is not only great for those of us who work in it of course, its importance is magnified a million times in the experiences of the adolescents that we work with. The chance to remake one’s life every summer, to grow and integrate the previous year’s lessons over a differently paced summer… and yes of course having a summer like our kids do in Vermont (featuring nature, slower pace, relative safety, the relative chance at decent employment) is a bourgeois luxury compared to the reality of way too many kids in our country who don’t have good summer options, but I will always fight for the existence of summer against the year-round school people (‘what we are doing isn’t working! Let’s do more of it!’). There need to be stops, changes, restarts. Not that I wouldn’t mind getting paid to work at summer theater camp for a couple of months in some sort of inbetween summer term kind of school… side note ends.”
I am better because of every. Single. Thing. That has happened to me because of this program. That’s my story. - Gräe Q3 Narrative
What's blooming soon?
Why update weekly?
I realize that it’s been hard for me to get to these, what should be weekly, updates. And that after I’ve missed a few it feels overwhelming to even begin. Truly so much happens in a week, and I’ve missed a lot.
Why do just one thing?
Here we are, doing just one thing at a time, and when we don’t carve out time to report on those things they become a big pile. It’s hard to document and reflect on a whole pile at once. This is why part of spring cleaning is to remember to: do one thing.
Don’t stop yourself… give yourself a chance to start.
In the last two weeks, we have done some spring cleaning, ordered Pilot T-Shirts, Jed started working with a new mentor (Kristin, and environmental writer and graduate from Vermont Law School). CONGRATULATIONS to Izzy Poulson who won the people’s choice award at the Congressional Art Show for her painting, "Laughing Woman". Izzy will be showing a retrospective of her high school work at Local 64 in June.
Two important questions to ask (we reflected on these in Seminar this week). Who expects you to do well? Who holds high expectations for you?
We’re going into the final weeks of the school year, and aim to make it to the finish line strong, proud, and empowered in our learning. Consider the ways in which you are supported in your project work and answer these questions: How can you take it to the next level? Make more ambitious deadlines? Show up to all your meetings prepared and eager for feedback? Finish things? Do just one thing?
If you haven’t been able to hold yourself accountable… can you lean in and ask someone to help you?
In the next weeks we will be pushing to the finish line, welcoming back Dane, Ana, and Madison, planning exhibitions, and remembering to pause and appreciate the life that is growing all around us.
Some quick updates as we head off for vacation. Pilot students have been focusing on productivity and project management. We've been leaning in, doing the work, and finding the joy in completing things.
community and collaboration
Jed and Iona wrote a grant and got it! Iona explains, “I am now able to be responsible for work I am proud of, like the grant that I wrote to get reusable dishes for our cafeteria.” Way to go you two.
They also presented the changes they’ve been working on implementing with the Green Team in front of the whole faculty and the student body. We will be able to cut down on single use items significantly due to their work. As Jed says, “I want to stay [in the Pilot] because I can make a change where it matters. I love doing good things and the earth needs to be saved.”
These quotes are coming from student’s letters of intent and letters of exit that they’ve written this week to tell us if they would like to continue working in the Pilot next year. If they are graduating we ask them more about what they’ll do with what they’ve gained. For everyone we ask...
On the 18th, we will be looking at the first set of project deliverables. This work will spill into the next three weeks (not including a vacation) and that will take us to the end of the semester.
It’s going to go quickly. My hope is that by creating really pointed goals and focused questions we can stay on target and not let the time get away from us.
Feeling the need to do some weekly momentum planning? Try our planning pages:
<<<<<<< See here for the quarter 1 exhibition guidelines and narrative prompt. We will be reviewing this with students in Seminar on Monday.