There are three main guiding principles that govern education at Linworth. The first has to do with fostering a sense of community, that is taking care of others, including students and staff. Next, students want to be able to take care of themselves, by developing the skill of self-advocacy. And finally, there is a deep sense of tradition, which includes taking care of this place. We have to care not only for this building, but also everything that goes within it. As Linworth students they are encouraged to chart their own course by using the power of choice to decide.
Our scheduling process provides an excellent example of both the flexibility and the options provided to students at Linworth. While our students must meet the graduation requirements established by the state and the district, we nevertheless attempt to create options for students in courses that will lead them to these requirements. Students may have five or six options to choose from in a school year. Students are provided some flexibility in scheduling here. They need to pass two semesters of physical education, which are scheduled during the freshman and junior years at the home schools. They are counseled to schedule these classes early at Linworth, but may put them off until their junior year if their chosen courses of study call for that action. Students also actively help form and build the master schedule each semester through the choices they make.
Each semester, students and faculty come together and build Linworth’s course schedule based on student needs and interests. Classes typically meet every other day (we call the alternating days Orange or Blue days).
Responsibilty is required to be successful at Linworth, and we provide students with ample opportunties to demonstrate responsibilty. We do not have study halls. Time not scheduled in class is considered to be the students’ time, which we expect to be used wisely and well. The staff judges this by three questions:
Is the student doing all the work for all classes?
Is the student performing at least at the level expected?
Is the student making some other contribution to the program?
If the answer to each of these is correct, the staff feels the academic and social commitment is being met. Town Meeting (our school government), social responsibility to Linworth, the larger community and the proper use of Sign Out are examples of student responsibility expected of those attending Linworth.
Town meetings are held in the “Big Room” – a gathering place at Linworth. Students and faculty vote on school policies and discipline arrangements for the school year. Policies of the school are enforced by Fairness Committee – a judicial system that students and staff can use to settle conflicts between any two parties.