Experiential Learning

Leadership & Student Government

Curtis's Student Life programs offer many student-centered opportunities to assist in the development of leadership traits. The hallmark of Curtis's leadership development approach is its complete commitment to engaging and promoting student voice in Student Life programs.
In the Lower Elementary, the "B the 1" program is designed to frame the leadership conversation through the lens of proactive service and leadership by example. At the beginning of the year, students engage in conversations about what it means to serve and what it means to be a leader. They are encouraged to make the choice to "be the one" to do the right thing when a problem presents itself or to lend a hand without being asked. When teachers see a student leading by example, they can choose to recognize the student's efforts with an honorary "B the 1" button.

The Upper Elementary has a Student Council that is comprised of two representatives from each classroom in grades 5 and 6, for a total of 16 students. Grade representatives are selected by their own classrooms through a nomination and voting process, and sixth grade representatives serve as the Executive Board of the Student Council. The Executive Board governs as an equal entity.

The students on the Executive Board create a platform agenda for what they hope to accomplish during the course of the school year. They facilitate the division of labor within the Student Council to address each of their agenda items and pursue those goals throughout the school year. Examples of recent Student Council initiatives include expanding opportunities for student voice; starting a student blog; working on campus environmental improvements; and increasing extracurricular opportunities for students.

In the Upper Elementary, outdoor education programs, overnight trips, lunchtime clubs, and student-led assemblies specifically support the development of leadership skills by giving students opportunities to collaborate in groups, develop goals and make group decisions. Student-led assemblies are sponsored by classroom or specialist teachers who serve as facilitators and mentors to the students. Students organize an all-school assembly on a topic of their choice. Recent topics include "Random Acts of Kindness," "Sportsmanship," and "Environmentalism."