As with all things at The College School, leadership is learned by doing. Our goal is to ensure that students are challenged to step into a leadership role by the end of their middle school years. While there are many leadership opportunities both large and small in Middle School, we offer three specific leadership programs, each of which requires a different kind of initiative or service to the larger community.
One of the unique features of Adventure Education at The College School is student leadership. It is not enough for our students to rock climb, spelunk, or navigate urban neighborhoods – we expect students to lead in those environments by sharing the skills and confidence that they begin developing in the earliest grades. At the core of this philosophy is TCS Junior Leadership. This program gives middle school students an extracurricular opportunity to volunteer in the service of our school. For instance, Junior Leaders organize and maintain the Adventure Education gear room, assist earlier grades on campouts and field trips, and contribute to Adventure Education curriculum, among their many responsibilities. Junior Leadership is an all-volunteer program that is open to students who qualify.
The Student Service Leadership Program (SSLP) is a unique exploratory class that is offered to eighth grade students who have distinguished themselves through academics, service, and collaboration. Prospective students are selected by a committee of teachers and invited to participate in service learning projects within the school; their service work replaces one of their exploratories in the winter or spring trimesters.
The projects depend on the interests and skill-set of the individual student. Some students work with younger grades, while others work on a project that would benefit the school as a whole. There are many possibilities, and the student is an active designer of his or her service experience.
The Diversity Council is a leadership group for students who are interested and invested in social issues – both in the world at large and more specifically within our community at The College School. In the two-course sequence, Culture Clash followed by Culture and Identity Within, students learn about the intersection of culture, identity, and history. The Diversity Council hones and refines their skills of being able to facilitate respectful dialogue, and plans student-led events to promote dialogue within the Middle School community. They also have the option of planning and carrying out service work, in which the larger TCS community can be involved.