March 3, 2009

How Big Do We Go?

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:36 pm by gary

I know there is a thought out there that we should get bigger and take on more students – not necessarily as a means to deal with our budget issues or the upcoming charter school, New Roots, but, more in response to pressure from the community.  This community might be the administration community, or, it might be all the parents and students who do not get to attend our school.  I wish we could take on the world, yet, in our little hallways – and with our little rooms, I don’t see much of an opportunity to expand.  With our construction project pending when we see the addition of two rooms (maybe, it is two) I do not see the situation being alleviated for passing in the halls, lunch time, family groups, and the day to day mission of attending to and developing relationships in the classroom.  Our concern should be maintaining and strengthening what we have.  Our school works!  That is pretty cool in itself.  If they want us to consider four kids per grade – why not five – or even six.  This all brings us to the issue that I did not want to bring up of how would we deal with more students or even the same number, who have bigger bodies (if we were transformed into a high school?)   Hey, if there is anyone who likes a shakeup every now and then, it is me.  Or maybe even us.  Is that what makes us alternative, not wanting to do the mindless walk every day?  We are here, to change the world – but, we can only embrace so many people at a time.

The photo is my sixth grade class (less than half the enrollment of that grade) and they hardly have any elbow room or space – If something spills or gets knocked – their neighbor will not be happy.  (Oh, and the dust masks – just because – because they can – and it does not interfere with their learning and participation.)6th grade art - filling the room!


October 1, 2007

Time to rethink the unthinkable (Fall Retreat)? or What are our values?

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:57 pm by gary


So, after watching Fall Retreat over the years, there are some things that we might want to reconsider.

Why, as an alternative school, do we play a game (Rugby) where inevitably people do get hurt and end up missing Fall Retreat by going to the hospital. This has the possibility of climaxing with a brain injury or other long term calamity.

The talent show used to showcase the skills and creative aspects that our students have and has become a commentary of drinking and partying. What statements are we making when we have a “beer pong” competition between a 9th and a 12th grader. Are we emulating fraternity mentality before we even enter college and are at least three years under the drinking age?

And while we are writing about decision making and questioning our values …………… I do remember that Dara wanted to do a fundraiser which included cross dressing. Paul did such a thing at the Fall Retreat to a very appreciative audience. What makes one acceptable and the other not?

April 19, 2007

Are we prepared to deal with 2007’s Violence?

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:31 pm by gary

images.jpgThis week’s violence is a frightening commentary on our world here in America. We are a country born through the use or weapons, yet we do not tend to update ourselves to the times and situations that exist. How are we to stay on top of the changes that subtly exist over time that make us numb to the horrors that exist in society? How will we stay aware of the transgressions that happen in our neighborhoods and schools? We need to stay in touch and keep talking. Let silence not fall on us.

January 3, 2007

Do We Really Want to be Self Governing?

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:24 pm by gary

rightgraphic.jpgLet’s be serious. From the outside, the majority of students appear to not care one way or another about taking part in the governing aspects of the school. During ASM people seem to be spacing out, reading, listening to music or talking to the people near them. Are they there so they have a free period? If attending, they should be participating in the discussions and making the decisions.

The talk in the hall and the classrooms, is about people saying how they hate ASMs and are totally bored or sick of how people are not respectful.

If we are going to keep the same system, how do we make it work?

If we change, are we going to show that we care about the process by joining in House and Senate discussions?

What is the right thing?

What do you want your school to look like, politically?

As Challenges Arise

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:26 pm by gary

As we enter our second semester, it has becomehelping_out_each_other.jpg time for you to assess what you have accomplished thus far in our school and our community.  It isn’t only the big things that have impact, like, helping the elderly or tutoring after school, but also, doing what you need to do in and around the classroom.  Have you picked up the piece of paper that you passed on the floor, or returned the plate or scissors to the appropriate place, even if it wasn’t yours.

The question is:  Do you go out of your way to help out the school or your community without receiving any acknowledgment for your deeds?   How do students step out of their own world to give to others?

December 5, 2006

LACSers do you really have choice, here?

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:14 pm by gary

bbsterev.jpgYeah, we are in a “democratically run” school, but, what does that really mean? Have you taken control yet, and made this school stand for your moral values and choices? Do we really reflect who we are. Will staff and administration allow students to go further than ever before?

We all know what the rest of Ithaca thinks of us………. We know it doesn’t reflect who we are………… we are artists, musicians, actors, students who work towards social change………… is there a way to show it and make a statement loud and clear?

Post a comment, Speak out!