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High School Series: Number One

All posts in the High School Series have been written by our very own incoming high school students. Together, these students are utilizing their creativity and their voices in order to create the high school that they envision.

More Than A Number:

Verdi EcoSchool is an organization founded on kindness and acceptance. For that reason, it’s been important to my family and my younger brother in particular, who I won’t name here for privacy reasons.

My brother went to public school from preschool until the third grade. In the third grade, he was bullied by classmates to the point where he had to be picked up early most days. Though the abuse was mostly verbal, it took a toll on his mental and physical health. Not even halfway through the year, he was pulled out of school. He was enrolled in virtual school, but it clearly wasn’t going to be a permanent fit, and our mom began looking for other schools to enroll in. That’s how she found Verdi EcoSchool.

The school was immediately apparent to be a good fit for my brother. He’s fairly active and benefits from the sense of community. Though they are not a religious organization, Verdi has, on occasion, reminded me of a church, due to the feeling of family and community. Though I’m not currently enrolled, I’m often at the school for events, as are most older siblings and parents of students. And because of the school’s small size, most people involved know each other on a first- name basis.

Verdi EcoSchool’s importance to me, personally, is large as well. I’m homeschooling right now, but I’m hoping to go to Verdi next year. Finding a school has been a nightmare. I’m in eighth grade, and as of right now, that’s the oldest Verdi accepts. However, the school is currently in the process of putting together a high school. When I heard about that, I immediately started trying to get involved, and it’s important to me that the high school gets up and running by this fall. It’s important to me, especially (how many times can I say “important” before it gets redundant?), because public school is no longer an option. I went to a public middle school last year, and while it wasn’t all bad, the rising threats of gun violence as well as the factory-line education finally got to be too much. I wanted a school that was safe and that payed attention to the individual. I wanted to be more than just a number. A Verdi high school would give me that.

My brother is going into the seventh grade next year, and if he can’t return to Verdi in three years, the only other option would be public high school, which is a terrible prospect for a myriad of reasons, mainly the ones addressed above, as well as a few more personal to him. My brother and I aren’t the only kids out there who feel that we deserve a safe and supportive community in which to learn. Verdi offers that to us, and everyone who goes there.

Verdi EcoSchool has been important to me and my family. It’s a supportive community focused on acceptance and kindness, which I look forward to being a part of. If you or anyone you know has similar experiences or ideas to ours, I know that Verdi would welcome you.

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