Project Week Wrap-Up

Dear Parents,

In just a couple of days your children will be on their way home to you. It was a week ago that I told them, and you, that we had a bad situation on campus. Today I thanked them for all their candor, care, and good thinking, and told them that we have a better and more aware community than we had a week ago. I also reminded them that with the freedom of this community comes great responsibility, and that quite a number of them had been bystanders in what had happened here. I asked them to think about ways to step up when that is what is needed, and thanked those who had done so; and I told them that it is very clear that the vast majority of them do not want drugs on this campus, and that they will always have a role to play in making that real.

In spite of all the upset, we have had two really wonderful project weeks. Even though many students – 82 of them – are doing this for the first time, there has been great focus and production. Projects often fall into some common themes, such as these:

Improving Putney: Designing a Recording Studio; Revamping Composting on Putney’s Campus; Accessibility, Part 2; Metering and Visualization of Electricity Use at Putney

Back to basics: Learning to Cook on a Cabin Woodstove; The Craft of Wooden Bowls; Fiber Arts and Natural Dyeing

Skill building: Wilderness First Aid Training; Coding in Python; Intaglio Techniques

Exploring ideas: Portraiture and Interviews: An Exploration of Quality of Life; Exploring Writing Through Surrealist Prompts; The Philosophical Perspective of the Absurd; Facing Whiteness; Possible Effects of Synthetic Meat on Industrial Agriculture

Designing and Building: A surfboard;  an escape room; a minibike; a reading nook at the daycare; a dulcimer

I love Putney for many reasons, but it is during project weeks that I regret that my own education was so entirely abstract, and was delivered without any reference to my own curiosity. I hope to see many of you here on Saturday for the showing off, and for the concert in the evening.


All the best,

Emily H. Jones
Head of School

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