Welcome back from Winter Break! We’ve slipped right back into the flow of things with the official start of spring sports practices, the continuation of Senior Projects, and the banquet finale of the winter sports season. Yesterday, we sent off a student group and French teacher Jenn Buck to New York for a model United Nations conference and Big Apple adventure!

As a Progressive school, student involvement and voice are a key component of all we do. In addition to the Gender Equity Rights Initiative group bringing a speaker to campus this week (Molly Kaviar of Kentuckians for the Commonwealth), we have upcoming plans for Diversity Week, Soul Week, and Gender Week, with students busy organizing events and recruiting speakers. Students are also taking a lead role in our annual Women’s Retreat planning, as we look forward to this 17th annual event And the School Committee is beginning to put together the annual Talent Show for late March, finding a student emcee and working out other logistics.

A primary way we hear student voice is, simply, that we ask them! In addition to getting feedback before break on our recent FCD substance use education, this week we shared with them the new school website (hope you’ve checked it out!) and sent them an online form to share feedback on it. Just today, we surveyed students on whether they are satisfied with the school’s lunch options or would like additional in-house ones. Next week (see more information in the newsletter), we’ll be participating in the national High School Survey of Student Engagement through NAIS and Indiana University, which will give us good information about the kinds of plans and programs we might implement to even better serve them. And we will be asking students in the next couple of weeks to weigh in specifically on what they’d like to do during this spring’s Advisee Games. I am always grateful to be part of a school that welcomes students’ opinions and encourages them to express themselves. St. Francis teenagers are endlessly fascinating!