Hi, I'm Drew, and I just started 9th Grade at Summit Sierra in Seattle. I am still trying to make sense of the Supreme Court ruling about Charter Schools in our state and figured I might as well share why I chose Summit Sierra for high school. Here is what I like best about Summit...
Smaller school/class size– I like having smaller class sizes where I can ask for help from the teacher if I need it. In larger classes it's harder to get their attention.
Expeditions – Summit has what you call "Expeditions." They are skills and subjects like coding, photography, or videography. For about 2 weeks each quarter, we will get to focus on these - and only these subjects. I like the chance to try out a bunch of skills, in such an in-depth way, to really decide if I am interested in them (or not.)
Mentors and mentor groups – At Summit we are all connected to a teacher mentor and small mentor group and have regular check-in’s. These were great, especially these first weeks of school when everything was new. I am looking forward to the daily and weekly check-in’s and getting to know a group of kids that are in the same group as me, that I might not have met otherwise.
College focus – I like that Summit is going to help me prepare for college. I want my high school to help me figure out which college best suits me, and help me determine what it takes to ultimately get accepted. Getting the chance to tour the University of Washington, literally my first week at Summit, was great… It gave me a real life visual of a university and an end-goal to aspire to.
Personalized learning – Summit is teaching us how to learn/study/manage time on our own, and I am realizing that it is pretty hard and I haven't been asked to do it on this type of level before. I have a long way to go to get good at it.
Technology – We use technology a lot at Summit in the form of the PLP (Personalized Learning Platform), email, and more through the Summit Expeditions. These are all things we will need to use in college and in the real world at work. I like starting now. I have always liked technology - just never got the chance to use it so widely at school.
Diversity Summit's diversity is awesome. I think it is a good example of what’s out in the real world. I also think it promotes tolerance and an openness to different beliefs and ways of life. Summit’s environment makes me feel relaxed and it makes being different acceptable. I don’t feel the need to “fit in” to anything but “me.”
Other great Summit Highlights: There are so many more things I have liked about Summit leading up to the start of the school year. We did a bunch of events that let me to get to know some of the other kids, long before school began. Since this is the first year, we were also able to choose the Expeditions and even the school colors and mascot. All this was pretty cool...