Yesterday I met in the Great Room with fifth graders to discuss the letters they wrote me (this is embarrassing!) nearly a year ago. I let them slip into a pile and rediscovered them this fall. At first I thought, "Well, that's too bad, too late." But then it occurred to me that the issues were mostly still pertinent and the students were mostly still at Trinity. So I asked the fifth grade teachers for some time and brought the letters along. They were very gracious, very attentive, very engaged.
Luke volunteered to be our scribe. He wrote down all the ideas from the letters. They ranged from free ice-cream machines to a new track to a football team (easily the one with the most enthusiastic fans) to more time learning math.
We spent some time talking about how to decide hard questions like this, especially ones where the aspirations outpace the resources. How do we decide what to say Yes to and what to say No to? Here are some of the students' thoughts. This was really good fifth grade strategic thinking.
I doubt that I satisfied many of them. Some of the ideas are really expensive. Some are part of our master plan, but probably a long way off. Some are rather far-fetched. A couple are worth exploring immediately (basketball goals on the LS side of the school, soccer goals for the LS play area) though hardly shoe-ins.
Maybe I could recruit some of these students to join our School Improvement Team preparing us for accreditation?