Dear S2 Supporters,

Relationships First. When School in the Square first opened its doors in September of 2016, as our founding class of 6th graders entered our building, we set off on a journey together. Nervous and anxious in those first days, today we are confident and empowered, celebrating our first graduation. In building our relationship with each student over the past three years we have continuously been learning from each other and growing together: academically, emotionally, and relationally. Out of this commitment was born the School in the Square Next Steps Program ( Next Steps ). Next Steps is a four-year extension program designed to continue to surround S2 graduates in the culture of care and achievement that characterized their middle school years in order to support their success in high school.

Graduation day was emotional for me, as it was for our whole staff. It was also confirmation of the impact we are having as family after family expressed their gratitude in such heartfelt ways. As in any relationship that impact is mutual and reinforcing. I am proud to report that 100% of the staff who were invited back are returning. Unheard of in the charter sector.
 
In this special S2 Graduation 2019 Newsletter, we acknowledge with gratitude that you are an important part of the relationships at the core of our school, its mission, and the growth we have experienced to date. We share with you the highlights of our first graduation, prom and senior trip to Boston (check out the embedded short videos). This moment would not have been possible without you. Again, thank you for the trust you have placed in our vision for a school which values every person for who they are. We look forward to sharing this next chapter with you.

Gratefully,
P.S. For those interested, see my longer remarks to our graduates
Our First Graduation
On June 20, 2019, the S2 founding class triumphantly walked across the stage at Columbia University's Miller Theater to receive their diplomas as our first graduating class. In a moving ceremony, surrounded by family, friends, teachers, supporters, distinguished guests and the S2 Board of Trustees, our graduates left inspired.

The momentous occasion included powerful remarks by our keynote speaker NYS Regent Nan Mead and Principal Carrie Amon who reminded students to continue to explore their passions and take advantage of all the opportunities high school and life has to offer. Mr. Meyers passionately left the founding class with this affirmation, "Graduates, hear this over all else: just how you are, exactly how you are, you are enough. I say again, You, each individual you is enough and worthy of love and respect. We cherish you."

Our student speakers spoke with courage, wisdom and pride, as they reflected on their time at S2. They shared stories of friendships made, adversities and lessons learned, but also the teachers and staff who pushed and guided them.

Below are excerpts from their speeches: 
"I am extremely proud to be part of the first graduating class of school in the square. I was extremely nervous to enter this new school full of new staff members, new students, and a totally new environment, but when I entered these doors everyday for the past three years it got better
and better by the second." - Daniel
" I truly appreciated being here at S2 and all the opportunities we were given by our thoughtful staff and teachers. Thank you for teaching us to be the best version of ourselves we can be, teaching us to be independent adults and how to
succeed in life." - Alyssa


"The bonds and relationships I have built with everyone, have given me opportunities to learn, experience and live my life to the fullest. This school isn’t just a school. It’s a community. A tight knit family,
a strong bond." - Ashley
Time to Celebrate!
The S2 dining hall was transformed into a beautiful space for our first 8th Grade Prom. Dressed in their best, they celebrated for the last time together as a whole grade. Check out the S2 founding class as they danced the night away.
Senior Trip to Boston
S2 has spent the last three years building a student-centered culture focused on cultivating wonder and a love of learning and exploration in each of our students. For the S2 senior trip, we were able to take our 8th graders (many for their first time), to the city of Boston! Students received a guided tour of Harvard, visited the Boston Tea Party Museum, hopped on the Boston Ghost Tour and even road on the famous Duck Tours through the Charles River. With only 36 hours in Boston, S2 8th graders did it all.

"This was a trip filled with many fun and exciting experiences, and a lot of learning. I really appreciated the tours, and spending time with my friends." - Samantha

"Boston took us to a really faraway place from Washington Heights. We did many things in Boston for the first time. This trip made me wonder so much about the past, the accomplishments and the impact that people whose names
are all over Harvard." - Melanie

"Going to Boston allowed us to see a new environment, get to know each other and dream about the possibilities, like Harvard!" - Alondra
Please Save the Date for our S2 Gallery Gala.
Thursday, October 17, 2019