Civics & Shared Governance

Give them a voice, and give them the world.

Civics & Shared Governance

At Summit School, students have a voice, and every voice counts.

Our unique environment of shared governance is the place from which everything else flourishes at Summit School. We are a place of mutual respect between teacher and student. A place of shared learning and open-forum discussion. We build community and work collaboratively. We debate issues respectfully, from a place of critical thought, and an open mind. Together, we help to set appropriate rules and hold one another accountable to follow them. From all of this comes profound student engagement and academic ownership.

We are HEROES. Watch Us Climb!

Watch our civics program bring democracy to life.

At Summit School, we are a community.

During our weekly School Meeting, facilitated by elected student council members, different issues are brought forward by any member of the school–student, staff, or board member–and everyone is entitled to one vote on the matter.

Through this democratic process, students begin to understand the importance of self-regulation and compromise. They are provided ownership in the greater school community in which they live. This process also provides an immersive learning experience on how democracy works, which will serve them well towards becoming responsible, productive, and civically-engaged adult citizens.

Rules. Students respect them because they help make and enforce them.

Not only are rules followed, but our students actually help to make them. This provides them ownership in managing their school community and allows them to more fully understand the reason behind them. Our democratic-rich environment is also at the heart of the HEROES honor code our student body is expected to model. These are the admirable, achievable, and aspirational values we live by every day.

Restorative Practices

Things happen, people make mistakes, feelings get hurt. It’s what we do about it that counts.

The restorative justice program at Summit School acknowledges that breaking rules or acting in a manner contrary to our H.E.R.O.E.S. code of conduct causes harm to people, relationships, and the community at large. An appropriate and effective response must address those harms as well as the wrongdoing, and hold everyone accountable for righting a wrong.

Restorative Circles and Justice Committee are at the center of our restorative justice practices at Summit School. They allow us to restore balance and harmony in our community using four critical components: Inclusion of all parties, encountering the other side, making amends for the harm, and restored sense of community.

In today’s world, democracy is something we cherish, but also must be defended. It is our hope that the spirit we instill in our Summit School students goes a long way towards upholding all that we value in our country. The solid education and democratic foundation students take way from their time at Summit School will help them successfully navigate the 21st century as active, civically-engaged citizens.

Lesson learned

Give them a voice today and they’ll use their voice tomorrow.

What parents are saying

Summit School of the Poconos (SSP) is unlike any other schools we've encountered - it provides students with a platform to grow and express their opinions, all while working to accommodate their individuality. Unlike what we grew up with, at SSP children are seen AND heard. The skills learned here will take our children far beyond the classroom and prepare them for a successful life. Our 9 and 5 year-old kids have called SSP: "FUNtastic," "extraordinary," "amazing," "exciting," and are proud to "have a voice."

Kerry, Parent

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