As we wrap up the end of our thirteenth school year, we would like to reflect on a chapter that has been like no other, where we have all worked together. First off, thank you to our AGC community of families, students, teachers and funders who have allowed us to make this pandemic school year as smooth as possible. Now that the end of the year is here, we have been able to move forward with our typical end-of-the-year traditions with COVID-19 safety precautions to bring our students, staff and families some semblance of normalcy and transition back to a pre-pandemic world. These events have brought our AGC community back together again in-person and we couldn’t be happier!
AGC Professional Development Seminars
This year we have worked diligently to develop and grow our Learning Institute. In collaboration with Illinois Green Alliance, we hosted one seminar in May around best practices for teaching in outdoor classrooms and two seminars in June to share our curricular framework for sustainability and wellness. Our Sustainability Coordinator, Glenda Gonzalez, and 3-8 Wellness Teacher, Bryan Soto, presented on AGC’s innovative strategies and provided a space for enriching discussion around environmental education and whole-child wellbeing in schools. Thank you to everyone that was able to join and stay tuned for more seminars this coming school year!
8th Grade Events & Celebrations
As our 8th graders wrapped up their time at AGC, they had many exciting events and activities throughout these final few months. They sure have made their mark on AGC and we are so proud of our Class of 2021 graduates who are moving on to incredible high school opportunities, including many who will continue their International Baccalaureate foundation established at AGC!
Eighth graders completed their IB Community Projects and presented their final work and social activism to the AGC community through a film festival organized by our 7th-8th grade Language & Literature teacher, Mr. Fischer. Check out some of their videos at this YouTube Playlist here.
8th graders also participated in a week of Service Learning around Chicago and virtually with collaborating organizations in Latin America. We are grateful for our generous partners at IMC whose instrumental support made these opportunities possible. Students kayaked along the Chicago River while completing a river clean-up, biked around Big Marsh Park and participated in the restoration project along the park’s trails, volunteered with the Alliance for the Great Lakes and Cradles to Crayons and participated in a park clean-up at Ping Tom Park. In addition to these experiences, students also participated in two days of cultural exchange with our partners, Tandana, in the Northern Andes of Ecuador who work with the indigenous community Kitchwa Otavalo, and our partners De La Gente based in Guatemala who focus on coffee farming and production.
Finally, our 8th graders celebrated their time at AGC with the 8th grade luncheon and graduation ceremony. Thank you to our dedicated Ms. Correa and Ms. Salazar for making these events possible. Our 8th graders and families are lucky to have such a dedicated team of faculty and staff!
Fifth Grade Exhibition
In addition to our 8th graders’ many end-of-the-year events, our 5th grade students worked to complete their final International Baccalaureate inquiry projects and presented their work through their Exhibition. This included a deep dive into the theme of “Who we are.” They reflected on their passions and identified local and global challenges and opportunities to find topics of infinite interest to them. Students developed a line of inquiry that differentiated their investigation and began research across a myriad of sources and reading levels. They employed synthesis and paraphrasing skills as they prepared their final presentations with intentionality for topic-specific vocabulary usage. Throughout the process, students participated in goal setting and reflecting, professionalism for interviewing, and cultivation of curiosity. Finally, students gave oral presentations and completed the cycle of inquiry by taking action specific to their topic. The topics ranged from gender equality, the impacts of social media on mental health, waste management and pollution.
AGC Mural Community Beautification & Collaboration Project
Among our many end-of-year celebrations, we have come together with our local community and our partners Organic Oneness to paint murals on the shipping containers we acquired this year due to the pandemic. Students gathered on a beautiful day with community artists to paint and create images that represent AGC and the community surrounding our school. This was a wonderful moment for our students to connect with the community around our school and to express themselves through art.