"In my freshman year, I was new and, admittedly, intimidated by the prospect of a change. What undoubtedly helped make the change smoother was an annual high school event called, "Open Week". - SWSF Graduate
Open Week was established to help the four classes mingle and to help build bonds between the students and their new teachers. Open Week opportunities for the 2010-11 school year ranged from kayaking in Tomales Bay among the seals, otters and sharks; backpacking for 60 miles culminating in a summit of Mt. Whitney; a Zen Meditation retreat in the Trinity Alps; sailing in San Francisco Bay; a drama/poetry week-long intensive in Sonoma County; working on Jughandle farm in Mendocino County; and horse camping in Pt. Reyes. Not only do students gain new perspective and friends on these Open Week trips, but they are also given the great opportunity to explore the wonders of the world around them.
Every Summerfield High School Student has a faculty mentor to help guide the them through the high school years. The mentor checks in with their students at the end of each school day and is available for questions regarding courses, schedules, extracurricular activities, school agreements, and social and personal issues. When the nature of the question exceeds the faculty member's scope, the student is referred to the school's guidance counselor. Every month there is a mentor meeting in which each mentor meets with all the students that he or she currently mentors, in a group setting. Discussions of issues such as studentship, plagiarism, and progress through the grades arise in this forum. Mentor groups are also responsible for working together to care for the classrooms and campus at the end of the day, including recycling. A mentor is intended to be an 'elder' for the student, a person to be there for him/her when needed.