The Workshop Brings New Opportunities

By Suzanne Gorman, Head of Downtown Campus

Cookie ProjectAnother busy week on the Downtown Campus! We began our first week of Projects on Thursday afternoons. These hourlong weekly sessions include our for-credit courses, Playwriting (with Actors Theatre Education Director Jane Jones) and Jazz Ensemble & History (with music teacher Bob Bertke), as well as a slew of other quarterly offerings, like Soap-Making, Presidential Debates, Yoga/Meditation, Poker, Presidential Films, ULS, Asian Board Games, Yearbook, and Cookies. A particularly exciting addition to this year’s offerings is Workshop/3-D Design, which correlates to our new (almost ready!) MakerSpace, called the Workshop. Part of our renovation, the Workshop will house a 3-D printer, woodworking tools, a sewing machine, and more. Students in this Project are working with science teachers Luke Johnson and David Word to plan what they want to do in the upcoming weeks and begin to use the equipment.  

We welcomed presenters from the nonprofit Educational Justice on Monday. They explained the EJ Activist program, which three of our students participated in last year (Christina Saliga, Natalie McClain, and recent grad Sam Edwards-Kuhn). EJ Activists each commit one hour a week to tutoring a socio-economically disadvantaged middle school student in an attempt to put high-achieving high school students’ talents to use in attempting to reduce educational inequities. I hope several St. Francis students will choose to participate this year

Next Tuesday brings our first Community Service outing. Students met in their assigned groups this Wednesday, many with a representative from the organization they’re working with. Our Community Service schedule is always the same, with three classes in the morning, dismissal to Community Service at 11:45 a.m., and service work until dismissal at 3:30 p.m. I’ll write next week about our various sites and the work we do.

I hope all new parents (meaning 9th grade and transfer, even if they’ve had a child in the High School before) will join us for the New Parent Dinner on Monday night at 6:00 p.m.! The Parent Association sponsors this lovely event each year to help parents begin getting to know one another.