compelling & generative topic (or question)

  • During our annual Curricular Summit at the conclusion of each academic year, students, teachers, families, and community members gather together to discuss the topics and questions that are currently most compelling to them. Through the use of brain-storming protocols - such as open space technology or the world cafe' - participants in the Curricular Summit compile a substantive resource that is then used by the faculty to design the Compelling Generative Topic/Question and Through Lines for the coming academic year.

    The Compelling and Generative Topic or Question (CGTQ) is a statement or question that serves as an overarching theme for the academic year. The Through Lines are corresponding statements and questions which encourage students to dig deeply into the CGTQ. The CGTQ and the Through Lines are utilized in every classroom of our school - from youngest to oldest students - to guide individual, group and community discussions and projects. All students look at their academic year through the lens of the CGTQ and Through Lines. Every student is engaged in service-learning experiences that are intentionally connected to the school-wide topics and result in a real-life impact. 

    Click HERE to view a video on the Compelling & Generative Topic!

    The Compelling and Generative Topic & Through Lines for the 2018-2019 year:
    Borders, Boundaries & Limits
    • How was it created?
    • How is it influenced?
    • Can we change it? How can we? Should we?
    • What is in-between?
    Archive of Our Compelling and Generative Topics & Through Lines
    Year I: 2009-2010
    What was? What is? What could be?
    Year II: 2010-2011
    What is power, and how is it transferred?
    • What does power look like from multiple perspectives?
    • How has power been used to make change? Or keep things the same?
    • What are the results of how we use our power and the decisions we make?
    • What is the relationship between power and access to resources?
    • How can exploring different points of view deepen our understanding?
    Year III: 2011-2012
    • How do we impact others? How do others impact us?
    • What are the intended and unintended impacts on community?
    • What is the impact of story on our lives and on the world?
    • How does knowing my story and the story of others impact the choices we make?
    • Whose stories haven't been told, and why?
    Year IV: 2012-2013
    • How can my actions impact justice in our world?
    • How are my choices justified?
    • How do we balance community and individual needs through multiple perspectives?
    • What is the relationship between justice and systems?
    Year V: 2013-2014
    • Where do we come from? Where do we stand? Where are we going?
    • What is gained? What is lost?
    • How does knowing the origin call me to action?
    • We are the origins of what happens next
    Year VI: 2014-2015
    • How is this connected to that? Why does it matter?
    • When and how should relationships be strengthened? Questioned? Sustained?
    • How do we nurture empathy?
    • What actions do I take to better myself? The community? The world?
    • What do I think? What do I do? How does that communicate who I want to be?
    Year VII: 2015-2016
    Struggle & Progress
    • Class-specific Through Lines found here.
    Year VIII: 2016-2017
    • Students will express pride, confidence and healthy self-esteem without denying the value and dignity of other people.
    • Students will respectfully express curiosity about the history and lived experiences of others, and will exchange ideas and beliefs in an open-minded way.
    • Students will recognize that power and privilege influence relationships on interpersonal, intergroup, and institutional levels, and consider how they have been affected by those dynamics.
    • Students will plan and carry out collective action against bias and injustice in the world and in their everyday lives, and will evaluate what strategies are most effective. They will do so despite negative peer or group pressure.
    Year IX: 2017-2018
    • What is the connection?
    • How was the connection made?
    • What is gained or lost by the connection?
    • How could the connection be strengthened, weakened or broken?

    Year X: 2018-2019
    Borders, Boundaries & Limits
    • How was it created?
    • How is it influenced?
    • Can we change it? How can we? Should we?
    • What is in-between?