Building Community!

By Sumeya B., Class of 2022

I am a person who really values community and the strength that it brings us.

In fact, a big part of why I initially wanted to come to The Downtown School is the aspect of creating the culture of a school. During lunch today I overheard our teacher Brian talking to the student council about how we are working to create the culture of The Downtown School for years to come--an environment many students will walk into someday.

Hearing those words, I thought about how much this school has already developed and grown in its first three weeks (12 days to be exact) Since day one, The Downtown School has nothing but encouraged us to lead...including having about 20 students joining student council and creating a loving environment and community for everyone. And starting a debate team and having students write blog posts about their school experience. When you walk into the freshly painted Commons, new ideas and friendly chatter bounce around the room walls.

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Just last Tuesday, we shared about our student-made clubs and the fun activities we will engage in during community time. Drama Club was blasting Hairspray and other musicals while dancing with microphones boasting more than 17 new members. Friendship Bracelet Club had strings out for making bracelets, and Drawing Club had papers to channel the creative flow. Then there is my personal favorite: Debate Club! Me and a fellow leader made a really cool poster and a presentation on the benefits of debate. Our second Debate meeting was today, and I am a little nervous. But it excites me that already we the students have begun to take action and cultivate our environment.  Yesterday we started making the official student Downtown School policy implementing what we want for our learning, community, and peers.

What makes our school different is having the freedom to create and use our ideas to make a learning community we love and are a part of. Whether that is taking a trip to the Pacific Science Center, joining new clubs, or making our own tests based on the information we learned last week. The Downtown School has already become a place created by the teachers and us the students. A place where our community is the school and the city is our classroom.