Two important classes in our Upper School which relate directly to the Commons and its school-wide programs are Rights & Responsibilities (led by Chris Hartman and Seth O’Bryan) and The Living Building (taught by Seth O’Bryan). Rights & Responsibilities is a mandatory class for 9th graders which lasts a trimester. During that time, the students are given many opportunities and authentic projects to explore for themselves the primary values of Harley. The photos below show the class sharing their findings on advocacy and what members of the Harley community believe it is. Being an advocate and taking a stand for a cause/issue is one element of being a civic-minded person who is engaged in his/her community, locally, nationally, and globally. Each student will tackle an advocacy project during the coming weeks.
The Living Building class is an elective for Upper School students who are interested in exploring the systems of the Commons, both in the technical and scientific aspects, as well as the social aspect of maintaining and managing this building which will become our teacher. So far, the class has welcomed the following experts as guest speakers: Ken Motsenbocker (Harley CFO and on-site program manager), Jim Burm (Nichols Construction foreman), Shawn Meier (Kenron engineer), and Joe Henderson (U of R graduate student in Sustainability Education who has been documenting the progress of the Commons from the very beginning). Here you see the members of the Living Building class as they observe the current construction on the solar panel supports. These students will become the leaders in future conversations about collecting data, analyzing them, drawing conclusions, making recommendations, and then communicating those back to the broad student body as action items. We look forward to great things from them!