Establishment of community values, inscribed into an artistically done “hand circle” begins a CELC year. This symbolic circle of words then can be utilized throughout the year as a guide. Students are asked to think about the type of community they want to create, to be a part of, and then determine what we all can agree to uphold. Written within this framework, the group’s intention of what to include within the community influences daily interactions and existence.
Each year the connections build. Students at CELC generally are not referred to by grade level, but more so by how many years attending the program – a first-year CELC student may be older than a fourth-year, for example, depending upon when a student arrives to us. A community that forms each year is unique, never to be replicated in the same way again. Each person is valued and honored for the qualities brought to the whole.
The congruence from year to year is a deepening connection to the values and principles, such as integrity, honesty, listening to one another, use of “put ups” (versus “put downs”), and treating others as one would like to be treated.
Students are engaged in thinking about how to communicate effectively, with care and consideration of one another. During a time of life when one is often questioning so much, being able to feel accepted, while also being able to make mistakes as an important part of the learning process is especially true during this formative time of life. Creating a conscious learning community takes work, yet is definitely worth the effort.
If you would like to see CELC Middle School in action, please contact [email protected] for a private tour. Applications for 5th– 8th grade students are now being accepted for 2021-22 academic year.