The last two weeks have been a blur at Quest, most notably in Middle School. The preparations for graduation, 8th grade student capstone presentations, a final science field trip and leadership awards from URI have created, not only a busy schedule, but also a clear scaffold of purpose for the program.
Leadership Certificate Ceremony
On Thursday, we held a Leadership Certificate Ceremony hosted by the URI Center for Student Leadership Development, an incredible partnership that began at the beginning of the year with an exploration of individual strengths for each student and teacher. This analysis, done early on, allowed the students to identify and lead with their natural talents within their new middle school classroom.
The certificate ceremony was a powerful way to honor and celebrate our emerging student leaders and Quest’s partnership with the Center. Students presented one another with their certificates, speaking to how that individual has utilized their strengths and leadership skills throughout the school year. Robert Vincent, URI professor, then presented awards to teachers and Quest Montessori School. We are excited to continue being strength champions and supporters of our students as they navigate their way through a period of self-discovery and self-awareness.
On Friday, we hopped onto the ferry and made our way to Prudence Island for the last field trip of the year. While there, we visited the Narragansett Bay Estuarine Research Reserve for some hands-on, experiential learning with Maureen Dewire as our guide. The students learned about the invasive Asian shore crab and went to the rocky shoreline to emulate the same procedure scientists use to track the crab populations. We then had lunch and headed to Nag Marsh and Chaseway Beach on the west side for for discussion and exploration of salt marshes, impacts of sea level rise, climate change, marsh metaphors, creek exploration, and beach cleanup. It was a fun and inspiring way to tie together many concepts that we have studied in science this year and to bring our science studies to a close.
Quest’s Peace Mural
During the last week, students transformed the Gaga Pit, a daily gathering place for play and fun, into something eye-catching and beautiful. As a completion of our September study of peace and non violence, and fulfillment of a portion of our Ursula Thrush Peace Seed Grant award, the students designed a mural capturing the Six Principles of Nonviolence, where each panel of the octagon contains a powerful message. Students worked hard to paint and remained focused, despite it being the last week before summer vacation. The Six Principles of Nonviolence are:
- Nonviolence is a way of life for brave people.
- The Peaceful Community is the goal for the future.
- Attack problems, not people.
- Know and do what is right, even if it is difficult.
- Avoid hurting the spirit and body of yourself and others.
- The Universe is on the side of justice.
Middle school students are proud to leave their mark for everyone that is part of this community and to create the building blocks of peace on our campus.