BY MADELINE WILSON —
The second day of the Shorewood Schools Summit continued with the purpose of discussing the present of our schools and beginning to picturing the ideal educational experience in the future in the year 2025, on Friday, February 26.
At the beginning of the event, participants were split up into tables of parents, staff, students, community at large and elected officials to take part in an activity called “Glads, Sads and Mads,” in which each distinct group collaborated to present three things in Shorewood School district that make them glad, sad and mad.
“I thought it was cool because we got to express the things we were happy about and also express … the things we were angry about,” said Ashley Kinnard, junior, and one of the student representatives who worked on planning the event and getting students to attend.
Throughout this activity diversity was identified as something that made participants glad, while lack of diversity was also mentioned as something that made participants both mad and sad.
Monica Morrisey, parent, thinks this activity did not promote further discussion regarding diversity.
“We have identified a ‘sad’ and ‘mad’ around diversity but we also say that it was a ‘glad.’ We are happy to be diverse, but we are mad about the lack thereof. So which is it? And shouldn’t there be dialogue about it?’” Morrisey said. “We want diversity but we need to talk about the challenges of diversity if we are going to fully embrace diversity.”
One thing that the student group identified as something that made them mad, was that students do not learn about consent until junior year in Lifetime Activities, and many students do not get the lesson at all because they exempt from the class.
“I think the consent lesson [is] too late … Many students can opt out of the class but we learn really important lessons in Lifetime,” Kinnard said.
The forum continued with larger group discussions about the aspects of a positive educational experience.
According to Morrisey, Shorewood schools need academia that challenges students and leads them to think critically.
“I think the academic rigor is not where it needs to be for [students] to, very soon, compete for those limited seats in college because it has lessened in recent years,” Morrisey said.
Kinnard believes that in order to improve our educational experience, curriculum should be applicable.
“Teaching us more real world situations, … instead of teaching for standardized testing,” Kinnard said.
After discussing aspects of a beneficial education experience, the same larger groups formed ideas of how the Shorewood School District will encompass these qualities in 2025.
Morrisey says that conversation and discussion need to continue in order to improve Shorewood Schools.
“This is a step in the right direction but I think we have a lot of work to do,” Morrisey said.