Student Organizations and Leadership

At The Academy, students participate in the day-to-day decision-making and general life of the school in several ways: as class members, as members of teams, through their representatives on six councils, and through their representative to the Board of Trustees. Each of the groups described has a faculty advisor.

Classes:
The basic unit of student organization is the class (grade). Classes meet regularly to discuss matters of particular interest and concern and to comment on proposed activities.

Teams:
So that students have a chance to interact across ages, teams are formed each fall. They consist of students from various grades led by  seniors and juniors; faculty and staff are also members. These groups give themselves silly nicknames (like “Einstein’s Atomic Slippers”). They perform daily chores and serve community meals together, and participate in other activities during the school year.

Leadership Councils:
There are ten Leadership Councils at The Academy.  Membership on a Council is mandatory for each student.  These groups provide opportunities for students to engage in meaningful work in a variety of areas that are integral to school life.  Each Council elects its leaders and a clerk, who take responsibility for setting and driving the group’s agendas for meetings and for the school year.  Leaders learn “on the job” how to plan, delegate responsibilities, solicit and receive updates about current projects, and forge consensus among Council members.  Students may serve on different Councils each year, though many choose to serve on the same one throughout their Academy careers.

The Arts Council
The Arts Council’s goal is to bring more diverse art opportunities and media into the Academy community, and to promote and showcase Academy art in the wider community. We are working with the Interschool Relations Council to make art more accessible to and present in both our community and the communities of other schools in the area.

The Community Service Council
The CSC serves as a clearinghouse for community service ideas and proposals, coordinates service activities on campus and off campus, and builds enthusiasm for service learning projects.

The Cultural Exchange Council
This council celebrates and teaches our school community about cultures and traditions from around the world, including those of our international students.

The Food and Gardens Council
Initiated by students during the 2018-2019 school year, this council strives to improve the food and gardens of our school and while doing so, educates the community on the health benefits of the process of gardening.

The Health and Wellness Council
This student-initiated council explores ideas surrounding physical, emotional, and psychological heath for our entire community.

The Honor Council
In the early days of The Academy, students and teachers developed and adopted the Honor Code to serve as the guiding principle of school life. The Honor Council is responsible for developing and sustaining an ongoing discussion of the Honor Code and its implications for student conduct and attitudes.

The Interschool Relations Council
Another student-initiated group, the Interschool Relations Council works to engage with other schools and their communities to create events and projects that promote collaboration and broaden social opportunities for both The Academy and surrounding schools.  The council seeks to be a support system for other councils to help publicize their events and goals, as we try to integrate more diverse values into our own community.

The Social Justice Council
This council focuses on issues of justice and equality both locally and globally and seeks to educate the community about topics of concern.

The Sustainability Council
The Sustainability Council helps us be aware of ways in which we can reduce our carbon footprint, take care of our earth, and promote healthy eating on campus and elsewhere.

The Technology Council
This student-initiated effort, the Technology Council works to educate the community about the risks and benefits of technology used at our school and to provide assistance repairing and troubleshooting problems with technology in the community. The council performs needed maintenance to support school technology and provides recommendations to the Heads of School about tech needs beyond the scope of the council’s resources.

GSA (Gender and Sexuality Alliance)
The Academy’s GSA (Gender and Sexuality Alliance) is a student initiated and led group of LGBTQ+ individuals and allies that seeks to promote a supportive and respectful culture for and between community members with different gender identities and sexualities. The GSA actively participates in the western Massachusetts GLSEN Conference, the national Day of Silence, and local Pride events in Northampton and Greenfield.

Student Representative to the Board of Trustees:
Each year in the spring, students elect a member of the incoming senior class to serve as their representative to the Board of Trustees. The student member of the Board serves without a vote, but he or she does have a voice and acts as an important liaison between students and The Academy’s governing body.

Student Advisory Board:
During the 2015-2016 school year, and in response to the needs of students as assessed by the Student Representative, The Academy established a Student Advisory Board.  This is an open forum, and those that participate consider issues of relevance to student life that are best addressed by the school administration rather than the Board of Trustees.  In this forum, students initiate conversation with the Head of School, Deans, and other administrators regarding matters of daily concern.