Teaching responsible citizenship can’t be separated into one class or a silo of learning. Instead, the concept of citizenship is ingrained in daily life at the Greenwood School, both in and out of the classroom.

Citizenship starts from within. Embracing self advocacy and awareness is Greenwood’s global philosophy. In Tutorials and Support Services, students cover academics while learning how their brains work, how to ask for what they need from teachers, how to appropriately interact with peers in social situations, and how to be a student in the classroom.
Community Service
To graduate from High School at Greenwood, each student must give a minimum of 40 hours of community service, although many of our young students far exceed this expectation. Service helps our students engage with the world and encourages personal, social and academic growth. 
Local community projects have included gleaning for the Vermont Foodbank, warehouse work at the Brattleboro Drop-In Center, river clean-up with the Nature Conservancy, trail maintenance, and harvesting at the Youth Agriculture Project (UVM).  We also assist elderly neighbors with yard work and shoveling snow — usually with some hot chocolate or ice cream for a reward!

Greenwood is also a member of Putney Student Corps, a collaborative community service organization made up of students, faculty and staff from The Grammar School, The Greenwood School, Landmark College, Putney Central School, and The Putney School.
Small group travel with faculty, including pre- and post-trip workshops, enables students to strengthen social communication and organizational skills. A Junior Trip Leader is chosen for each group, which provides a wonderful leadership opportunity to our students. Groups have traveled to places like Costa Rica, Alaska, Arizona, Iceland and Ecuador.

In addition to providing the opportunity to help others, CONNECT trips teach students about travel and about working collaboratively for a greater cause while at the same time introducing students to different cultures and helping them to develop a broader world view.

Civics and Government is a required History class, where students identify and analyze different paths to leadership. Everyone is encouraged to draw on “best practices” and participate in community wide decision making through Greenwood’s School Council.
Two young students petitioned to bring video games to Greenwood. They presented a well thought out “teacher friendly” proposal to the School Council, outlining a usage policy, time limits and restrictions. Their submission was reviewed, accepted, and is now in place representing a fair compromise between faculty and student wishes. Greenwood students quickly learn that it’s not always what we have to say, but how we say it, that makes the difference between progress and a stalemate.

Environmental Stewards
Students experience firsthand the importance of being responsible citizens in Greenwood’s year long “Watershed” class. Lead by Rich, the Department Head for Science, students hike and experience Vermont’s beautiful West River. Together they study the water system, topography, land use issues, and the overall life and health of the river. Collecting and exchanging data with local environmental agencies, deepens their understanding for collaborating with the community. Raising trout from eggs, and releasing them into the river come Spring, enriches their connection to mother earth. In this place-based learning class, students internalize what it means to be stewards of the environment, another important thread in “citizenship.”

Students attended a Naturalization Ceremony where 51 people from 23 countries were sworn in as citizens of the United States.