Student empowerment is one of our core values at NSA, and we work to develop in students ownership, initiative and follow-through so that they feel they are capable of making positive changes in their lives and communities. Student-created and driven clubs are an example of that empowerment. Students are able to propose new clubs based on their interests and those of their peers.
In order for a club to become official and receive funding, students must find a faculty sponsor, generate a minimum number of interested students, and write a proposal explaining how the club can contribute to our community.
Once approved, students work with their faculty sponsor to organize events during the week and on weekends, enriching the activities calendar based on student passions. Current clubs that students have created and can participate in include the Fishing Club, Climbing Club, Running Club and the newly-formed Art Club.
Last week, our Experiential Education mentor and Student Council facilitator Matthew organized campaign speeches for students running for office. NSA’s Student Council includes a President and Vice-President, an Activities Representative, a Proposals representative, as well as a liaison with the Academic and Operations departments.
These positions have been intentionally created so that students are able to take part in the formation of their community and experiences while enrolled at New Summit Academy. Students, through their Student Council representatives, are able to organize their own cultural and recreational opportunities, can write proposals to make changes to the student handbook, and have the chance to manage their student monthly budget to make purchases to improve their daily lives.
Elections will be held soon, keep an eye out for the results!
Besides navigating mighty rapids and crater-lake swimming, students hiked to and swam in the 200-foot La Fortuna waterfall, handled snakes at a serpentarium, and enjoyed quality time with Tom! The students all returned positive and energized for the upcoming quarter.
Each quarter, to thank these valuable community members, New Summit Academy hosts a Homestay Picnic. Daisy, our Cultural Coordinator, along with our Experiential Education staff, plan a day full of fun and activities. This quarter, students and families posed for portraits and competed in wheel barrow races. Our chefs prepared picnic food, and the community sat to share a meal and memories of the quarter. Our talented students gave back as well, entertaining families and peers with live music.
Thank you to our Costa Rican homestay families who do so much to enrich the experiences of the students at New Summit Academy!
Between courses of the feast, students engaged in (safe) wrestling matches, noodle-sword duels, and gave their teams rousing speeches to galvanize them in competition. The students should be commended for taking it upon themselves to organize and host healthy, fun activities – and we hope to see more in the future!
NSA students who have graduated the program but chosen to remain enrolled to complete high school have the opportunity to enroll in the Second Summit Program, which focuses on building real-life skills for a successful transition. Part of that development is the opportunity to learn and practice important organizational and travel skills on Second Summit’s international Aventuras.
This quarter, these senior students traveled to Belize and Guatemala to help plan our July all-school trip. Students booked transportation, accommodations, arranged service-learning opportunities – all while enjoying the history of Mayan sites and the beauty the Belizean coast.
Students in their second quarter traveled to the Osa Peninsula to hike into the stunningly diverse Corcovado National Park. Each time NSA travels to the area, students return with stories about seeing tapir, monkeys, anteaters, and even crocodiles (from a safe distance, of course.)
This trip proved extraordinarily special in the realm of wildlife encounters. One student, fascinated with photography, was hiking in the back of the group with one of our EE staff. As they rounded a headland on the beach, the two spotted a mother puma with two cubs. This unique experience helped make the classes on forest succession and biological diversity that much more meaningful.
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