When I told friends my plans to spend four weeks in South Dakota this summer, I had more than a few people tell me I was crazy, but it was an amazing month thanks to the fantastic group of eleven students who ventured alongside Tim Miner P'10 and me to spend ten days living and working at the Rosebud Reservation in southwestern South Dakota. With daily temperatures hovering around 100 degrees, this group cheerfully responded to constant reminders about sunscreen and hydration while working incredibly hard in the heat, sun and wind without a single complaint. They pushed themselves and were proud of the work they accomplished at the Sinte Gleska Ranch for Tiwahe Glu Kini Pi Program, Tree of Life Organization and at Marlies White Hat's house. This group acted like a sponge, soaking up all that they could during their visit; meeting new people and exploring the Lakota culture with an open mind and a positive attitude. I was proud to be part of their group. The student reflections below provide a window into their varied experiences as a part of Proctor's Summer Service Trip to South Dakota, but I encourage you to seek these students out in person to see first hand the transformation that has taken place. You won't be disappointed.
Dominique Jordan Turner explores poverty as a superpower in her TedX Talk recorded earlier this summer (see video below). Her insights into the skills and strengths obtained by young people growing up in poverty not only prove valuable to us as educators of a diverse student body, but her underlying message applies to all of our students. We all share an understanding that young people need to experience an intersection of belief in their lives in order for learning to take place; belief in themselves, others believing in them, and belief in something bigger than themselves.
When Mrs. Eliza Butterfield gathered with a group of women in the her livingroom on Main Street in the spring of 1848, she shared her strong conviction that the village of Andover needed a school for its growing population of children. Throughout the 20th century, Proctor’s student population shifted to serve primarily boarding students, however, today, more than 90 day students (roughly 25% of the student body) are enrolled for the upcoming school year. Being a day student brings with it obvious benefits, and a unique set of challenges, so we asked our Day Student Leaders for 2017-2018, Sage ‘18 and Lance ‘18, to share insights into the world of being a day student at a boarding school.
August is upon us and that means the start of the school year is just around the corner! For boarding school students, normal start of year jitters are sometimes amplified by the unknown of living with a roommate for the first time. As we prepare to welcome 125 new students to campus, the vast majority of whom will be boarding students, we asked a few of our dorm leaders their thoughts on sharing their space with their roommate and the lessons they’ve learned from living away from home at boarding school.
Comprehending the complexity of the role the advisor plays within Proctor’s educational model can only be fully understood once a family has experienced the relationship first hand. We fully recognize this is not the cliche` pitch of "You have to see it to believe it!" prospective families want to hear, but we feel strongly the only way to fully appreciate the role of the Proctor advisor in your life is to live it yourself. In the meantime, here is an open letter to incoming families from a Proctor advisor.
Earlier this week, we published the 2017-2018 Greenbook (Proctor’s Student Handbook) and sent a series of permission forms to parents to complete in advance of the upcoming school year. This process takes place each summer, both for returning and new families, and serves as an important acknowledgement of the rules, expectations, and boundaries essential to sustaining the Proctor community. The temptation for some might be to glance over the forms, identify where to sign or initial, and click submit. To check the box and move on with summer plans. Our hope is this process is a bit more intentional because we recognize joining a community, especially a community like Proctor, is not something you should take lightly.
Each July, Blackbaud K-12 hosts a user conference in Boston that draws educators from around the country together to discuss technology, learning, and the tools we use to help our students unlock their worlds around them. Last year’s keynote speaker, Julie Lythcott-Hames, inspired THIS BLOG POST on how we need to help our parents raise adults, rather than children. Today’s keynote by Dr. Natalie Dixon of Figure 8 Design Thinking sparked an inspired conversation on the future of learning in our society.
The tiny, quaint town of Andover grows by more than five times its normal population of 2,200 people during its annual 4th of July celebration. For the past 75 years, Andover has served as a gathering place for residents of the entire region as the town green and Proctor’s campus are flooded with flea-market booths, games, food vendors, a parade, and fireworks. It is small town Americana at its finest as we celebrate America’s independence and our individual freedoms granted in the U.S. Constitution.