The upper school faculty have created a program which turns the old, worn, and ineffective model of “study hall” on its head. We are intentional about the use of that time, so that we get the most out of the last period of the day for our students. The purpose of the upper school Agora program is to provide a variation of focused academic support for our upper school students with a wide variety of needs.
The program is designed to provide structured academic support for students, who have particular academic or disciplinary troubles. If a student needs extra math help, he/she can get focused tutoring during this time. If a student needs one-on-one assistance for a history paper, that is provided. For those who really flourish in all their classes and are hungry for more stimulation, special seminars and events permit students the opportunity to attend presentations, lectures, and discussions held by the faculty. These presentations provide exposure to ideas and topics, which are not covered in the curriculum but which support and enrich it. Students may observe or take part in philosophic bull sessions with faculty members on perennial questions such as “What is happiness?” and “What makes a free man?” These offerings, once core coursework has been sufficiently attended to, reach at the very spirit of the agora. Our students develop an autonomous love of learning and relish a free exchange of thought.
To set students along the path, which leads to the true agora experience, the upper school faculty take this time during the first three weeks of the school year to fully instruct the student body in what it means to be an LCS student. Here we introduce students in scholarly habits and ethical principles, which helps us carry our school-wide mission to “assist parents in developing young minds with virtuous character, critical thinking skills, and a passion for learning to become exceptional community stewards.” The following are some of the things that are taught and discussed with students in the first three weeks of Agora:
- The middle school and high school core virtues, taught through anecdotes from literature and history
- Basic routines and expectations of LCS students
- What it means to conduct oneself as a young lady or gentleman at LCS
- Organization skills and student planner use