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Lise's Lens: February 1, 2024

This week, I am thinking about the importance of quality education for teens, our amazing guest speaker from Beyond Walls, and exciting news from the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

WHAT I’M READING
 
  • At the risk of highlighting yet another headline about how unhappy the youth of today are, I wanted to share this article from The New York Times because I think it’s highly relevant and also incredibly validating to what we do here at CSW. “When Gallup asked teenagers for the three words that best described how they felt in school, the most common answers were bored, tired and pressured,” the piece explains. The students of today are craving “instruction-focused hands-on learning,” that will be applicable and useful on the job market. And this is exactly what we do at CSW; we provide students with the agency and the power to tailor their learning to their interests and goals, all the while providing learning opportunities that are relevant and responsive. And when students are more engaged in their education, the article argues, they’re more likely to invest time and energy in important social and political issues. 
 
WHAT I’M THINKING/TALKING ABOUT
 
  • This week at assembly we had the privilege of welcoming Al Wilson, founder and CEO of Beyond Walls, a non-profit that brings public art to gateway cities. I was blown away by Al’s presentation showcasing some of the amazing work they do, like the Dancing Dragons in Boston’s Chinatown, the BeND seating sculpture in the seaport, and the Cook Street Park Playground — in addition to their breathtaking murals, for which they are best known. I was inspired by the thought, care, and strategy that goes into their work, which brings together local leadership, art, and design experts, and, most importantly, local community members. And they do the work in places others have historically overlooked and stigmatized, in doing so exhibiting the great power art has to unite and uplift. 
     
WHAT I'M WATCHING/LISTENING TO
 
  • Earlier today Music Department Chair Michael Weinstein shared the exciting news that the Boston Symphony Orchestra has named Carlos Simon as their composer in residence (an especially fitting and exciting appointment as we begin Black History Month). This residency lasts three years and includes the commissioning of six new works. I’ll admit I am not familiar with Simon’s work, so I’ve spent the afternoon listening to some of his music.
     
WHAT CAUGHT MY EYE
 
As I mentioned last week, a group of brave students and teachers ventured into the White Mountains of New Hampshire over Mod Break on the CSW Winter Wilderness Trip. Looks like they had some incredible views! Visit CSW on social media for more photos. 
 
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The Cambridge School of Weston is a progressive high school for day and boarding students in grades 9–12 and PG. CSW's mission is to provide a progressive education that emphasizes deep learning, meaningful relationships, and a dynamic program that inspires students to discover who they are and what their contribution is to their school, their community and the world.