The ACE Experience
Students in ACE often say that the program feels like a family. This is the result of intentional time spent in the program on building trust and mutual respect through team-building activities, mixed-age advisory time, field trips, service learning projects, ACE community meetings, and regular awards celebrations.
Rather than relying on traditional discipline measures, the ACE program coordinator tries to find a consequence that matches the nature of a student infraction and that helps repair the harm done. Research has shown that when students are given the opportunity to do a restorative justice project, they are unlikely to repeat the offense. For example, if a student misbehaved on a field trip, they would be asked to help organize the next field trip. This alternative discipline approach also allows the small ACE community to feel a sense of mutual accountability.
Students are split into small, multi-age advisories which meet twice a week. Advisory is a time for students to have one-on-one academic progress check-ins with their “advisors” (one of the four content teachers), do team-building activities with their peers, and have a “home-base” to talk through any issues of interest and concern from school or in their community. For more: ACE Advisory
Student Leadership Team
Student voice is integral to how ACE runs. Two student representatives from each advisory are elected to serve on the ACE Student Leadership Team which meets weekly with the Program Coordinator. In these meetings, student leaders do everything from giving feedback on program policies and/or proposing new ones; to planning student-facilitated discussions in advisory; to raising concerns by their peers; to organizing and co-leading whole program field trips. Student organized field trips have included: skiing, ropes course, trampoline park, and pottery painting. Seniors also fundraise money every year to take a two day senior trip.
Additional Resources for Students