Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Morning Circle & Silent Meeting

Every day at Wellsprings begins with Morning Circle. All students, teachers, and staff gather in a circle in our community room. A teacher calls for a moment of silence to begin our school day together. Then we join hands around the circle to connect our community with "good morning, friends."

Morning Circle offers a time for students and teachers to speak about plans for the day and upcoming activities, academic concerns, "housekeeping" issues, and whatever a student, teacher, or staff person wants to bring to the community for discussion.

On Friday mornings, Morning Circle is followed by a fifteen-minute Silent Meeting in the Friends (Quaker) tradition. It is a special time for individual inner reflection and group connectedness for the Wellsprings community.

Morning Circle & Silent MeetingSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Life at Wellsprings: Inauguration Day 2009

Our community room was buzzing this morning with excitement about today's inauguration of Barack Obama as our 44th President. Teachers had set up the room for projection of the ceremony streamed live via computer. The projected image filled the front wall of the room on a sunny, chilly morning in western Oregon (as it was in Washington, D.C.)

Several students arrived early to watch the beginning of the day's events. Yancey and teachers Eva and Chanci had prepared a breakfast of pancakes, eggs, fried potatoes, sausages, sweet rolls (and more) for our students to enjoy while watching the ceremony.

For almost two hours everyone watched, cheered, clapped, and howled while our new President was sworn into office and delivered his inaugural address. Afterward, students gathered around tables covered with blank paper to draw and write about their experience on this historic morning -- January 20, 2009 -- and finish their breakfast feast!

Early Arriving Students and Teachers

During Barack Obama's Speech

At the End of Barack Obama's Speech

Life at Wellsprings: Inauguration Day 2009SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Life at Wellsprings: Guitar Class

One of our popular music offerings for students is guitar class taught by Paul. In his life away from Wellsprings (where he also teaches government, history, team sports, and other classes), Paul plays in our local "teacher" band -- Fortune Cookie -- along with our teachers, drummer Tyler, and singer Chanci (while math teacher, bassman Bob, plays with Fuzz 4). Both bands will be featured at our Benefit Concert at Cozmic Pizza on February 13th ( 6 - 9 pm).

For a look at two students getting started with guitar, here are video sessions with Paul during a recent class period.

Life at Wellsprings: Guitar ClassSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Monday, January 5, 2009

Desirae's Story: Why I Go to Wellsprings

Wellsprings has been so much better for me than any other school that I’ve ever been to. I go to Wellsprings because I was failing horribly at public school. I had a 0.7 GPA. I was constantly in detention and I was suspended frequently for behavioral and truancy issues. I hated all the people around me, constantly, and I hated the mindlessness of all of it—different people with the same faces, marching back and forth from each class, and teachers who really don’t care who’ll you’ll be in a few years. I felt like I was in a cage.

Everything changed after coming here to Wellsprings. The work is easier and more comprehensive, so I enjoy my work. The students are approachable and friendly, and the teachers are really laid back and good-natured. I am passing all of my classes—for the first time in my life, I have plans for college. This school is like a second family for me as it is has been and will be for so many others.

Wellsprings has made me a more open-minded person. I deal better with social interactions outside of school and I have become more responsible. My outlook on life has improved greatly and I plan to stay in Wellsprings for the rest of high school.

-- Desirae (‘10)

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Brigid's Story: Why I Go to Wellsprings

I started at Wellsprings last January which is almost a year ago from now, and since then I have grown as a person more than I have in the last 17 years of my life. I attribute this to Wellsprings.

In the beginning, I felt a bit awkward because everyone was so close. But even then, the teachers and a few students made me very comfortable and I never felt like I had to change my personality because of social structures like at public school. I found the less I tried to fit in and the more I was myself, the more people accepted me. After a few months, I truly felt at ease and a part of the community.

The teachers are really here because they want us to learn and grow. I consider all of them like family. The friendships that I have gotten from this school are ones I know can withstand anything. No matter where I am, if I see a fellow (or former) Wellsprings student, it’s like seeing a relative.

The environment at Wellsprings make kids feel comfortable, and when people are in a place they feel comfortable, they flourish. I think that it’s a combination of the place (the home-like building), the people, and how we are in a community that makes it so comfortable. I really do like that we have community building and chores, because it has shown me we all need to pull our weight to make things work. At public school we were all just fish battling to get upstream. Here, at Wellsprings we help everyone out.

Wellsprings has shown me that even when things seem bad, scary, or different, there’s always another side to it. Some of the people here could look a certain way or like certain things but from being here and getting to really know them, it’s easy to see how similar and good people can be. Wellsprings changed my life for the better, and I truly don’t know where I would be without it.

-- Brigid ('08)

Brigid's Story: Why I Go to WellspringsSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend