The Weekly What: Friday, September the 7th Newsletter

September 10th, 2018

Dear New Harmony High Community,

Our first month of school has flown by; in the past weeks, we have engaged in all types of learning in the process! We are so grateful to all of our supporters, families, and community partners for making the previous month possible.

What Was Month 1 All About?

Building Community
Our students uncovered new aspects of themselves as well as understanding their peers in a fresh light through team-building experiences.  From personality assessments to dissecting histories and from finding common ground to hosting healing conversations, our students and staff are developing relationships that are serving as the foundation of our continued learning.

Building Culture
Students are actively building the framework of our school culture through the creation of clubs – designed for learning through interests – and by working collectively to develop norms as an agreement for how we all cooperate daily.
By developing group “Circle” as a continued practice, we are strengthening the lastingness of our culture through vulnerability.

Building Futures
New Harmony students have had diverse opportunities to uncover which style of learning suits them best and how this informs their learning for their first projects and quarter one exhibitions in October (stay tuned!).
By having time to explore from where we are coming and to where we are headed, we are getting closer to uncovering how our true passions can guide our future endeavors.


Leaving campus to learn is vital for fostering experiential knowledge and developing community partnerships for New Harmony High students. We have had numerous opportunities to incorporate all of our senses into these teachable moments.

  • A day-trip to Ship Island
    • Analyzing curious bug species, journaling about our relationship with water, and standing amongst buildings of historical significance
  • The New Orleans Boulder Lounge 
    • Demonstrating new ways to use physical strength
  • New Orleans Museum of Art
    • Acknowledging the history of marginalized groups through the “Changing Course” exhibit
  • City Park
    •  Understanding the method of kayaking and water safety
  • Horse stables at The Fairgrounds 
    • Navigating through history and internalizing the importance of wetland sediment
  • Nora Navra Library
    • Discovering new research methods and determining personal reading interests

In-School Learning

When students were not leaving campus, they were learning in the building in other tangible ways.

  • Lessons on the Mississippi River and Louisiana history through map-making and analyzing historical maps
  • Creative exploration through various art projects, including papier-mâché boats, community maps, body maps, and personal identity flags
  • Restorative Justice Workshops
  • Interest Inventory to start the process of recognizing how personal interests can be translated into a career
  • Composting, recycling, and responsible trash practices with members from 24 Carrot Garden
  • Proposing student-initiated clubs and conducting presentations on the learning that will happen in these groups

Next week, students will begin their leveled math sessions and reading groups.

Fontainebleau State Park 

During our two-night stay at Fontainebleau State Park we learned through touch and sight.
  • Nature walks with master naturalist and New Harmony board member Dr. Bob Thomas
  • Planned and cooked all of our group meals
  • Kayaked and canoed in Bayou Cane
  • Made mandalas from the nature surrounding us
  • Swam and fished in Lake Pontchartrain
  • Played a competitive game of Nature Bingo to discover wildlife and Louisiana’s greatest creatures
  • Identified curious species of insects and other wildlife

NHH Families


  • Today, your students received the news that Andrea, one of our advisors, will be leaving our school family to tend to personal issues of self-care.  She has been an integral part of our team and has led our advisory groups with a fierce passion for the intellectual development of your students.

We are sad to see her go and wish her the best moving forward.

New Harmony will be initiating the search for someone who is mission-aligned and will be a good fit for the entire NHH family.  Your students will be playing a significant role in both the interview and selection process as we seek the newest addition to our team.
Please reach out if you have any questions, concerns, or recommendations.

Thank you for your patience thus far.


  • Students received ID tags this week and must wear them on a daily basis while in the building.  If your student is concerned about leaving their ID behind, they are welcome to leave them at school at the end of each day.

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