A virtual meeting of the Christa McAuliffe Charter School Governance Committee will take place via Zoom on Thursday, July 22, 2021 at 5:30pm
A virtual meeting of the Christa McAuliffe Charter School Board of Trustees will take place via Zoom on Thursday, July 22, 2021 at 6:30pm.
Peace flags are flying OUT of McAuliffe Charter School in Framingham as scholars join together after school to fold and prepare hundreds of flags for distribution around the country and world. The after school Peace Flag Club was renamed Peace Flag Committee at the suggestion of Amaya Langer, a 7th grader in the group. She felt the work they were doing was too important to be called a “club” and wanted the name to reflect the far-reaching significance of their work. The group concurred and the change was made. The connections between the Peace Flag Movement and McAuliffe go back to its origin 5 years ago.
The Peace Flag Movement began as the Rainbow Peace Flag Project by Maggie Sky, a parent of a McAuliffe scholar in 2016. She responded to acts of violence and injustice around the world and within her community by purchasing 100 rainbow peace flags and putting them in a box labeled “Free Flags” in front of her house. The flags disappeared quickly so she ordered another 100. Maggie ultimately collaborated with a local artist to redesign the flag to fulfill a bigger mission “to unite the world in the fight for equity and justice for all people.” They worked with other community leaders and focus groups, seeking feedback from people of various cultures, races, spiritualities, genders, sexuality, ages, and abilities to create a flag symbolic of all humanity. As the PEACE Flag Movement grows and develops a broader reach, providing flags and their message throughout the country, their work has expanded to include an educational component to teach students about it’s important message.
McAuliffe anchors its schoolwide norms in the HOWLs – Habits Of Work and Learning. These habits include Perseverance, Inquiry, Responsibility, Kindness, and Collaboration. Maggie’s daughter, Tia, a 2017 McAuliffe alumni began to be involved in the Peace Flag Movement exemplifying each of the HOWLs through her volunteer work. During high school, Tia helped design flyers that described the history and meaning of the flag and ran youth coalitions to engage her peers in important discussions about fighting bias, prejudice, and injustice while folding and packaging flags for distribution.
The Having of Wonderful Ideas – Participation in this movement has fostered curiosity about the world, leading to opportunities for scholars to think about important issues and what they can do, even now as middle school scholars, to create solutions to problems. They bring fresh ideas and perspectives for spreading the message of peace and justice to their community.
Empathy and Caring – Scholars are encouraged to think about each other and those in their communities with empathy as they discuss the meaning of the PEACE Flag’s mission statement and how to use the flag as a symbol of caring for all people.
Diversity and Inclusion – The first line of the PEACE Flag Movement mission statement states that the movement “seeks to unite the world with a symbol of equity and justice for every culture, race, spirituality, gender, sexuality, ability, and age.” This is consistent with the principle of diversity and inclusion in EL Education in which “scholars investigate and value their different histories and talents as well as those of other communities and cultures”.
Service and Compassion – An often-repeated phrase at McAuliffe is “We are Crew, Not Passengers.” Scholars and teachers are strengthened by acts of consequential service to others, and one of an EL Education school’s primary functions is to prepare scholars with the attitudes and skills to learn from and be of service. As scholars in the PEACE Flag Committee at McAuliffe engage in the meaningful work of preparing flags for distribution and getting the message out, they are performing a great service born out of compassion for all.
The Peace Flag Committee work has been invaluable in promoting the mission of “seeking to unite the world with a symbol of unity and justice” and to each scholar’s deeper understanding of this message. They have folded and wrapped over 750 flags to be distributed around the country while engaging in discussions about the meaning of justice, peace, and solidarity.
Well done Peace Flag Committee!
A virtual meeting of the Christa McAuliffe Charter School Board of Trustees will take place via Zoom on Tuesday, June 22, 2021 at 6:30pm.
A virtual meeting of the Christa McAuliffe Charter School Governance Committee will take place via Zoom on Tuesday, June 22, 2021 at 5:30pm
Carol Krentzman, founder of the Mosaic Art Institute of Natick, has been teaching mosaics to scholars at McAuliffe for 18 years. This year, in an effort that exemplifies the HOWLs (Habits of Work and Learning), Carol guided scholars in the completion of a 2-year project, resulting in a large, stunning mosaic which was mounted in the school cafe this week. HOWLs such as perseverance, responsibility, and collaboration brought the scholars together in ways that were not anticipated when the project began in the fall of 2019.
Maya Z., a current 8th grader at McAuliffe, was involved with the project from its inception. She explained that they wanted to create a large school project to complement the one done by some of their siblings four years prior. After much discussion, scholars decided upon the theme of HOWLs which led to the concept of wolves howling. Carol brought the idea to a local artist, Jason Cheeseman-Meyer (who taught drawing in the 2019-2020 school year) and together they came up with a few designs to present for review. The accepted design included two wolves howling at the moon with a space shuttle flying across the night sky as a tribute to Christa McAuliffe, the teacher and astronaut who was part of the Challenger Crew disaster in 1986.
The HOWLs mosaic was expected to be completed in 2020 but was thwarted by the pandemic. At the end of April 2021, when scholars returned to school full-time, Carol returned to complete the project. The now 7th and 8th graders graciously welcomed the 6th graders to collaborate with them. Nathan O., a current 6th grader, took particular interest and pride in cutting and gluing tiny glass pieces to add to the beautiful landscape.
We are honored to have this exquisite mosaic, completed by scholars with community support displayed in the building. This piece of art, representing core principles of our school community, and honoring the person for whom our school was named, will be cherished for many years to come.
A virtual meeting of the Christa McAuliffe Charter School Finance Committee will take place on Friday, June 18 at 9:00am.
A virtual meeting of the Christa McAuliffe Charter School Governance Committee will take place via Zoom on Tuesday, May 25, 2021 at 5:30pm.
A virtual meeting of the Christa McAuliffe Charter School Board of Trustees will take place via Zoom on Tuesday, May 25, 2021 at 6:30pm.
For the 7th year in a row, the McAuliffe Parent teacher Group (PTG) voted to fund a $500 scholarship for a McAuliffe scholar who is graduating and is planning to pursue education beyond high school.
This year, the scholarship committee has chosen McAuliffe Alum Abby Burgess, who attends the Beaver Country Day School, to receive the award. Abby will be studying at Dartmouth College this fall hoping to major in Native American Studies and Environmental Science. We are excited to continue to follow her journey.
Each year the McAuliffe Scholarship committee asks applicants to draw on their experience at McAuliffe and explain how their experience contributed to their high school experience or plans for the future. Abby’s application essay, along with her academic performance, extracurricular involvement, and community service, showcased just how much of an impressive young lady she is.
Abby plays a leadership role at Jeff’s Place, helping other teens grieve their personal losses. She is the president of her school’s environmental club, and she is one of the organizers and founders of the inaugural TEDx program at Beaver. Abby’s teachers describe her as ‘hard-working’, as a student who ‘demonstrates the highest level of inquiry’, as ‘a classroom leader’ and ‘quite simply, a terrific person’.
Executive Frank Tipton remarked that “Abby demonstrates the highest level of team-building and service to others. Her efforts exemplify the values we teach at McAuliffe.”
“It is with great pleasure that the McAuliffe Alumni Scholarship committee is able to present Abby with this award.” ~Lauren Cunningham & Meghan Martin, McAuliffe Alumni Scholarship Committee Chairs