UPPER SCHOOL DAY IN THE LIFE
Dynamic. Vibrant. Filled with possibilities. These are just a few words and phrases that describe life in the Upper School.
In a supportive, close-knit community, Upper School students are exposed to more freedom and choice, setting the stage for college life.
UPPER SCHOOL LIFE
This group of self-nominated and peer/faculty-elected representatives is dedicated to maintaining and upholding the standards of academic honor within the student body.
Admission Ambassador Program
This self-nominated and faculty-selected student leadership group welcomes prospective students and families to our community at admission events and visits.
This self-nominated and teacher-selected student leadership group provides peer feedback and counseling to freshmen and upper-class students in partnership with the Counseling Department.
Student Council Association (SCA)
In this elected leadership position, students become involved in the administrative and operational affairs of the school. The SCA is responsible for coordinating school events including dances and upholding school traditions in partnership with administration.
The purpose of this student organization is to provide a forum for creators, both literary and visual; to encourage members of the Flint Hill community to think, create, feel, and experience; and to encourage expression, growth, and appreciation of art in all its forms.
Upper School students have the opportunity to support publication of “Iditarod,” the Flint Hill yearbook, by providing photographic and editorial coverage of school events.
Flint Hill's online student newspaper keeps the Flint Hill community informed about school news, events and opinions.
Class Deans are assigned to each of the four grade levels to provide an administrative presence devoted to the needs of each class and individual student. Each Class Dean chairs bi-weekly grade-level faculty meetings, working with the Upper School counselors and faculty advisors to develop plans for student assistance and support. Class Deans also work with the student leaders for his or her particular class to develop activities that build community and encourage members of the class to exercise new forms of leadership.
The Upper School Advisory program seeks to create a community within a community, matching students with adults who will serve as guides for a student’s journey through the academic, moral and physical challenges of their Upper School years.
In addition to Field Studies, global off-campus learning opportunities are a particular highlight of the Middle and Upper School programs. Middle School students have recently expanded their learning through trips to Rome and Athens, and Upper School students have traveled to Guatemala; Malaga, Spain; and the Galapagos Islands. Members of our faculty regularly travel abroad during the summer to gain a global perspective on leading-edge instructional practices.
Core Values Commitment Ceremony
At the beginning of the academic year, every student, teacher and staff member in the Upper School signs our Core Values Commitment Board to represent their dedication to upholding our core values as they engage in the Upper School community.
During Town Meeting, the entire Upper School meets in the gym as a community. This is a time for students and teachers to make announcements or presentations of interest to the Upper School and occasionally includes guest speakers or performers.
During Ally Week, students wear specific colors each day to show respect, tolerance and to oppose bullying in the School community.
Student Diversity and Leadership Conference
Students apply each year to attend this conference, hosted by the National Association of Independent Schools, in which they engage with their peers in dialogue about critical diversity challenges, and receive training they bring back to School to encourage inclusion, respect and compassion among their fellow students. Teachers sponsor this very important weekend conference.
The fall All-School Gathering is one of two opportunities during the academic year for the entire school community to come together. This event marks the beginning of the year with the lighting of a lantern that remains lit in the Office of the Headmaster until the final senior completes his or her requirements for graduation.
Poetry Out Loud
Students begin by studying and selecting poems in English class before participating in a classroom recitation. Teachers then select nominees for a School-wide competition, during which each qualifier recites a poem to the student body and a panel of judges scores each speaker. Winners advance to the next round and must recite a second poem. The panel of judges selects a winner and a runner-up, with the winner advancing to the state competition.
During the second all-school gathering of the academic year, we convene as a community to celebrate the anniversary of Flint Hill’s reorganization in 1990.
Each year, Flint Hill and the Ceramics Club host an Empty Bowls event to raise awareness and funds to fight hunger in the local community. Students, teachers, alumni and parents and staff work throughout the year to create handcrafted bowls for the program. Attendees are invited to purchase a simple meal of soup and bread during the event and can keep their bowls as a reminder of all the empty bowls in the world.
On the official last day of school, following exams, the morning begins with advisory groups meeting for a final breakfast celebration. Then, the Upper School community makes its way to the gym to enjoy a video of the year’s highlights, and applaud the winners of various departmental awards, book awards, leadership awards and Senior Class honors. Flint Hill Medals are presented at the end.
Freshman Fiesta Dinner with the Headmaster
At the beginning of the academic year, Headmaster John Thomas hosts an annual Fiesta for the freshman class.
Junior Letter Day
In the spirit of “The Scarlet Letter,” each junior wears a letter confessing their own weakness, sin or character flaw.
As the culmination of their studies in the Upper School, seniors undertake an independent project with an off-campus organization. After meeting with a mentor to develop their plan and submitting a proposal to a faculty committee for approval, students spend 80 hours in the work setting of their choice. Through this experience, they gain valuable skills in setting and meeting goals, learn the importance of self-driven work and explore possible career paths. At the completion of the project, students deliver a presentation to a panel of faculty members, reflecting on their experience and sharing what they learned.
Town Meeting Dismissal for Seniors
During all Town Meetings, seniors are dismissed from the gym first.
Senior Sunrise and Sunset
One of our newer traditions, during Senior Sunrise, members of the senior class gather on campus at dawn early in the school year to mark the beginning of their final year at Flint Hill. They end the year with the Senior Sunset when they gather again to watch the sunset for a moment of reflection and celebration.
Senior Dinner with the Headmaster
At the end of the academic year, Headmaster John Thomas hosts an annual dinner for the senior class.
Each day during the last week before seniors begin their Senior Projects is dedicated to themed spirit dress, and special activities, including the senior speeches and a senior breakfast with the division director and assistant director. Seniors are applauded as they enter their final Town Meeting in front of the students and faculty.
On the last Friday of Senior Week, each Senior is provided the opportunity to give a three-minute speech reflecting upon their time at Flint Hill.