S.S.C. Expands Programs

Kaavya Mehrotra, News Writer

“[Students for Sustainable Change] is really passionate about making Pinewood a more compassionate place,” Vice Principal Hemm said when talking about the student-led group. Students for Sustainable Change, a group of students working together to implement community voice in Upper Campus policies, is currently working on a project centered around non-academic programming in order to learn what topics the student body is interested in.

In the previous semester, S.S.C. went through a “planning” stage where they laid out the trajectory for the 2022-23 school year.

“Last semester, we initially decided what our theme for the year would be,” Prisha Mohapatra, a sophomore part of S.S.C., said. 

“When S.S.C. was brainstorming topics for what we wanted to handle this [semester, non-academic programming was] one idea that Ms. Hemm spearheaded,” senior and S.S.C. member Sally King said. “We all got on board since we all have been to these presentations and they have either been fun or not so fun, so that was definitely something we wanted to improve.” 

This initial stage also included communicating with members outside of the Pinewood community in an attempt to take inspiration from other schools–such as Nueva, Oakwood, and Priory–in regards to their non-academic programming.

“We would use our personal connections and then delegate that way,” Hemm said. S.S.C. then used this information to create surveys for the Pinewood community. 

The ultimate goal would probably be to ensure that everyone in our community, from parents, to faculty, to students, have a chance to voice their ideas and hopes for it,” Mohapatra said.

In the second semester, S.S.C. plans to use the data they have gathered to improve non-academic programming. 

“Much of what we did last semester will not be repeated this semester, since we will be focusing more on gathering data and analyzing it,” Mohapatra said. 

“We were thinking about conducting focus groups of smaller random people from each grade — this includes random parents, faculty members, and students — and try to have deeper conversations about our topics or what they want to see from us,” King said.

Hemm has been critical with the success of the team, constantly encouraging S.S.C. to keep pushing through setbacks.

“[She] has been instrumental in guiding us and working with us,” Mohapatra said.     

With S.S.C. ‘s hopes to better the non-academic programming at Pinewood, King asks the community to take an active role in helping S.S.C..

“I would like to see the community just respond to the surveys when we send them because we really want to hear their voices,’’ King said.