First up Monday morning was standardized testing, the NWEA Measure of Academic Progress, or MAP test. Testing is required for our accreditation process (scheduled to be completed in May 2012) and provides us with helpful information on the characteristics of our students.
After testing, lunch, and more testing, students broke up into two groups for training on the library collection and procedures, expectations for academic honesty, and laptop use. Students now have their laptops with them (although they turn them in every evening at curfew in order to promote reasonable bedtimes).
Some relaxed time after dinner was followed by the first of our regular Monday night community meetings, led by the Head of School Stefan Anderson. Tonight’s community meeting was made up of some fun getting-to-know-you games where rotating pairs of students had to ask and answer thought-provoking (and laugh-provoking) questions like, “If you could be any character from a movie, who would you be?” and “What is your favorite odor?”
The meeting ended with our traditional “highlights of the week” circle, during which students take turns describing their favorite moments of the past week. An oft-mentioned highlight at today’s meeting was star-gazing on the tobogganing hill last night. In the Northwoods, the starry sky looks completely different than it does in the cities and suburbs. Here, we can see the Milky Way and layers and layers of stars, so the black background of the sky is marbled with not only the familiar constellations but also sprays of smaller stars and faint, foggy swirls of light. If students are lucky, later in the year they’ll be able to see the Northern Lights, too.
After the meeting, when I left the LAB, I walked past students playing hide-and-seek in the woods along the main path. Everyone seems to be settling in!
I took many photographs throughout the day today, too many to publish all at once, and I will post more of these tomorrow.
– Mary Anna