A Look at Peak's Forum

The Peak School stands on three pillars: choices, ten common principles, and forum. Forum is one of the more unique and cherished parts of our school’s philosophy that allows students to have a voice and address their entire community with just about anything they want. On Tuesday afternoons, students are either divided into Middle School or Upper School, or forum involves the whole school. Before each forum meeting, two to three student representatives are selected to run the meeting. Their job is to facilitate each portion of the agenda that is laid out before the meeting. A typical forum agenda starts with connections. This is a two minute segment where any student can say just about anything they want; what they’re excited about, what they’re not excited about, something interesting to share with the group. Literally just about anything that would make a connection with someone else. Following that are a few minutes dedicated to any announcement that a teacher or student might have. Next, they move into “shout outs,” which is a time for students or staff members to acknowledge something they appreciate someone else doing. We also use this time to bring attention to recent birthdays in our school’s community. Last is a section of time dedicated for students to discuss current events, whether they be local or global.

Once all of the mandatory forum topics are covered, the rest of the time is used for whatever the teachers have planned. Sometimes it’s a group activity or game, and other times it can be issues to discuss among the community. For example: a few weeks ago, the school needed to come up with a new policy for lunch rules. For this scenario we had the students involved in the conversation.

The main focus of forum is to give students a voice in our school and also on decisions being made among our community. Students find it to be empowering when they have a say in policies and changes in our school and so do the staff. Forum is something that The Peak School values, and it’s part of what makes us who we are.

Caroline Santinelli