Sixty-seven students—the Curtis Class of 2019—took part in the 6th Grade Retreat at the very beginning of the year, learning more about one another, exploring the concept of leadership, leveraging their individual strengths as a members of a group, and deepening friendships.
The annual retreat for the 6th graders brings the whole class and many of the Upper Elementary teachers and administrators together for an intensive teambuilding and leadership experience that bonds the group and prepares them to embark on their final year at Curtis. All activities, from building bicycles with middle school students at Bert Corona Charter School, to challenging themselves and supporting one another as they navigated the dizzying heights of the ropes course, to the raft-build and race challenge, were designed to grow the students' interpersonal skills and build camaraderie.
Central themes emphasized in break-out discussion sessions and underscored by the Fulcrum-led group activities were leadership, inclusivity, community, character, and making good choices. One popular activity that made the students feel particularly good was a "pat on the back" exercise. Students wrote on a post-it something they appreciated about each person in the group and then literally patted it onto the person's back.
Moments sitting around a bonfire savoring s'mores and expressions of appreciation for one another warmed more than hands and faces and filled more than bellies. These times created lasting memories for our students and continued the work of our Curtis School mission: to nurture compassionate hearts.