For the third year in a row, all St. Markers are actively participating in Lion Term: a two-week Form-based experience. Each Form has its own theme and schedule of activities, with students getting involved in team-building, community service, and experiential learning. In addition, the Lions Roam program provides a global experience for its participants.
Lion Term provides students and faculty a learning structure outside of the traditional classroom and school week. By approaching a single topic through the lens of interdisciplinary and experiential education over an extended period of time, students have the opportunity to take appropriate intellectual and academic risks, pursue and cultivate new interests, tap into resources within the local and global communities, and prepare to be active and engaged participants at the university level and beyond. Lion Term is focused on the desired educational learning outcomes for intellect, character, and leadership outlined in the SM2020 Strategic Plan.
The theme of the III Form experience is "My Footprint"—examining how both individually and collectively students can affect the community around them. Through the lenses of environmental, economic, and social sustainability, students evaluate and understand the concept of community, exploring issues of self-awareness and personal identity while working to understand the impact of individuals on their communities and beyond.
Five days of the III Form Lion Term experience will be spent at Brantwood Camp in Greenfield, N.H. Brantwood has been associated with St. Mark's for 99 years, and generations of St. Markers have work as Brantwood counselors each summer, serving primarily low-income youth. At Brantwood this Lion Term, III Formers will hike, keep journals, learned campcraft, help build an outdoor chapel and campfire space, work at various projects and tasks, and get to know each other even better as classmates.
"Community Engagement" is the theme of the IV Form Lion Term experience. Students work in small groups to explore ideas of community leadership and social responsibility while serving and partnering with local organizations such as animal shelters, food pantries, community farms, veterans groups, family support programs, and more. Throughout it all, St. Markers are challenged to learn how to effectively collaborate with others. Students who complete the IV Form Lion Term will learn valuable lessons of agency, collaboration, and problem solving; skills in high demand in this 21st century world.
The V Form Lion Term experience engages smaller "cohorts" of students in "Critical Curiosity," discovering how their own interests drive the learning process. Students are given the opportunity for purposeful immersion in an area of genuine interest. This program takes advantage of the abundant intellectual resources and opportunities presented by living in New England. Collaboration, curiosity, critical thinking, and communication are central to the V Form Lion Term program. These important real-world skills that prepare students for college, careers, and life are supported and developed as students engage in their own unique Lion Term experience.
"Intellectual Independence" is the focus of VI Formers for Lion Term. "How do I chart my own course?" each student is challenged to ask themselves. St. Markers then pursue their personal interests, passions, and goals as they relate to the world outside the School. Each VI Former submits a proposal for a personal course of study that will include an investigation of issues of character, leadership, and intellect.
As the culminating experience of both Lion Term and their time at St. Mark's, VI Formers work independently, supported by the St. Mark's community and enriched by the world beyond our walls. Internships, individual independent projects, off-campus jobs, and even international opportunities are central to the VI Form Lion Term. St. Markers work with adult mentors to facilitate their experiences. The VI Form Lion Term represents a final opportunity to polish the skills that will help our graduates live lives of leadership and service.
Finally, the Lions Roam program, which this year worked to unpack the cultural legacy of Spain in a spring term course. In order to better understand Spain's present, students had to first understand Spain's rich history. A group of students studied Spanish culture by investigating language, religion, customs, art, economy, government and social structure. Twelve St. Markers and two adult leaders are now in Spain for two weeks, visiting Grenada, Seville, Cordoba, and Barcelona. They are scheduled to return on June 3. As a culminating assignment, students will craft a project proposal for their time abroad, based on an area of focus from the course.