The theme for the 2011-12 school year is Community. Explorations into the theme of Community will stretch the student’s knowledge and imagination about what the term “community” can mean. At the very basic level, community means people making positive and beneficial connections with other people. Connections can be made on the personal, town, country and international level. Communities can be created within the school itself, within Pottstown and within the world. They may be person-to-person, group-to-group or nurtured and developed virtually through the internet. In addition to providing a venue for innovative community shapers and activists, our goal is to present a variety of different hands-on experiences for students. In essence, we hope students will be inspired to take action by being presented with motivated and inspiring speakers. There will be many opportunities for students to volunteer their time and energy towards creating community around them. They will be given examples of how community action can create connections and empower and energize the people within.
Our program includes an art activist who has, for years, given light to the millions of victims and survivors who have been killed or displaced by ongoing genocides. Another program will invite the town community to join us in “Yoga in the Park,” an opportunity to connect with others and with the land under our feet. Students will devote their time to various community action. They will experience an appreciation for the value of the resources in our extended community by participating in various sustainability projects. Students will also have an opportunity to create a colorful mosaic at the Carousel at Pottstown to help propel that organization toward accomplishing their goals. Form advisors will play key roles in asking their form leaders to “lead by example” through these various form activities. There is one big “Community Day,” scheduled for Saturday, September 17, when the whole school (students and faculty) will participate in some form of community action. During Symposia Days, teachers will be encouraged to integrate the theme of “community” into their lesson plan. Throughout the year, we will encourage students to engage in dialog about the concept of community and what it means to them. Activities may be presented to advisor groups and dorm night as further ways to explore the multi-layers of the theme of “community.”
Our goal is to move the practice, dialog and investigation of this theme into the realm of integrated, conscious community living.
Starting with the 2007-2008 academic year, The Hill School implemented the notion of “themes” for each school year. The chosen topic serves as a unifying element that ties together speakers, service projects, films, and other activities occurring throughout the year. The inaugural school year theme for 2007-2008 was Environmental Sustainability when various activities promoted discussion about how The Hill School community and all individuals can be good stewards of our environment. The theme for 2008-2009 was Citizenship, during which we taught our students the importance of and responsibilities of being a citizen within a community, nation, and the world.