Learning, Serving, Leading
Summit provides an environment where children grow in their ability to meet challenges, take risks, and transform their lives.
The Leadership Program supports children at each stage of their development. We know that a successful student must conquer quizzes and essays while learning to work happily, productively, and compassionately with others. Our goal is to bring children that balance and to help them take responsibility for themselves, their community, and the environment.
To that end, Summit's programs prepare students to reach their full potential by helping them become responsible and respectful friends, teammates, classmates, family members and citizens.
Big Friends/Little Friends Mentoring Program
Each kindergartner is matched with a fifth grade student to foster friendship and learn about the importance of responsibility in relationships. Students meet throughout the year to share in activities that are both educational and fun. The program continues as the students progress through the school.
● Show compassion, and demonstrate kindness.
● Practice humility and forgiveness.
● Realize that to be different is not to be less than.
Be a good citizen.
● Cooperate with all members of the school community.
● Respect your environment, and keep it clean.
● Seek to understand and follow the rules.
● Seek ways to help in our community, nation, and world!
● Ignore and discourage rumors and gossip.
● Recognize the needs of other people.
● Respect the property of others and of Summit School.
Be respectful of yourself and others.
● Take care of yourself, and practice a healthy lifestyle.
● Treat others as you wish to be treated.
● Celebrate our differences.
● Fulfill all individual and group obligations.
● Accept personal responsibility for learning.
● Accept the consequences of your choices.
● Practice honesty.
● Honor all commitments.
● Make your signature one of significance.
Responsive Classroom is a research-based approach to education that is associated with greater teacher effectiveness, higher student achievement, and improved school climate. It has been recognized by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) as one of the most well-designed, evidence-based social and emotional learning programs. Center for Responsive Schools (CRS) offers Responsive Classroom on-site consulting services to schools and districts; workshops for educators in locations around the country; and numerous books, videos, and other resources for teachers and administrators.
Often in academic settings the social/emotional development of children is an afterthought. However, “Social and Emotional Learning (S.E.L.), sometimes called character education, embraces not just the golden rule but the idea that everyone experiences a range of positive and negative feelings. It also gives children the tools to slow down and think when facing conflicts, and teaches them to foster empathy and show kindness introducing the concept of shared responsibility for a group’s well-being.” This statement, written by New York Times writer Julie Scelfo in her recent piece Teaching Peace in Elementary School, embodies what S.E.L. is all about.To this end, the faculty at Summit School are continuously and consistently looking for ways to incorporate S.E.L. as part of our regular school day. Students begin each day in a morning meeting during which they connect with one another and their teachers. During this community time, they greet one another, share, reflect, plan ahead, and often times play together. This commitment to the community continues throughout the day. Morning Meeting and many other tools are rooted in Responsive Classroom. Using the Responsive Classroom approach to build community and emphasize one’s role in the group allows teachers to use moments throughout the school day to develop and practice skills such as self-awareness, self-control, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making.
At Summit School students become engaged, creative contributors to their communities and to the world. Summit students learn about local and global issues and related causes throughout the curriculum. Through the Advising Program, students get hands-on experience working with established organizations. Students also initiate their own projects through the student-led Summit Service Council.
- To educate students about issues that impact local communities and the world.
- To educate students about organizations and causes related to these issues.
- To provide opportunities for students to contribute to these organizations and causes.
- To inspire students to ask new questions and offer new ideas.
- To teach students principles of civic responsibility, service, stewardship, and leadership.
- Projects are sponsored by the Summit Service Council, part of the Executive Council of the Upper School, and led by ninth graders.
- The Summit Service Council supervises the planning of projects and timeline of events. Meetings are held monthly and are led by current Executive Council leaders. Faculty sponsors and student project leaders serve on this committee.
- To help students build leadership skills, students in sixth through eighth grades also organize and sponsor projects for their individual grades. These projects allow students to experience the planning and follow-through needed to complete a project.
- We serve many needs through our Service Learning program. Projects are based on outreach and spread throughout the community: one-third Summit, one-third local, and one-third international. Faculty and students help select projects.
- Students are required to earn the following hours:
- Grade 6 - a minimum of 3 projects and six hours
- Grade 7 - a minimum of 4 projects and eight hours
- Grade 8 - a minimum of 5 projects and ten hours
- Grade 9 - a minimum of 6 projects and fifteen hours
- Half of the required hours may be earned outside of school. Students should get approval from their advisor prior to completing the service. Ongoing out-of-school service hours (e.g., ushering, helping with a Scout's Eagle project, serving as an acolyte, etc.) can be accumulated and turned in on a trimester basis.
- Students join a service project by signing the sheets posted outside the Upper School office. We expect students to follow through. If students cannot attend, they must arrange for a substitute. Students who fail to attend will lose the same number of hours they would have earned had they attended the project.
- Cultivating responsibility is also an important goal of our Service Learning program. Students must document their service to others using service forms. Students will complete a form, including the signatures of the faculty sponsor and advisor, within one week of the project's completion. They will then turn in their forms to their advisors. Responsibility for recording and calculating service hours will be shared. Students can find these forms with their advisors.
- Because Service Learning is an integral part of the curriculum, service awards will not be given for meeting requirements. Students who far exceed standards will receive recognition on Awards Day.