I know that my mother was considering The Met school for my younger sister but I feel like I have some responsibility in helping her attend the school because I pretty adamantly recommended that she take a look a the school before making a decision about where to attend high school. I still remember that day when we toured The Met. Almost a year ago, this last May, my sister graduated from The Met school in Providence. Even though I no longer lived in RI, I made sure I could attend her graduation. And I am so glad that I did! I think the enthusiasm exhibited in the graduation is a testament to the school experience as a whole. Two things stand out in my mind from the graduation. The first was how the students walked across the stage. This is what we are used to….mundane, walking appropriately, receive your degree and walk off. Maybe a photo is snapped while you are standing there.
During the Met graduation, maybe one or two students walked traditionally, every single other person, my sister included, skipped, jumped, ran, or otherwise enthusiastically crossed the stage. They were hugging their advisors, and not just an appropriate hug, but over the top enthusiastic embraces. To me, this embodies the goal of The Met by demonstrating that students are encouraged to be who they are and develop their passions at The Met. They learn their academics through the lens of their passions – through independent projects, dedicated time for internships, and classes like math that are integrated for their individual learning. The Met kids looked like this:
I also got the sense that these kids wanted it and earned it more so than other students in traditional public schools. Usually students who look for a different school environment do so for two reasons – either their parents are well informed and want to offer their child something different – or the student is not being successful in traditional public schools and they are looking for an option that is going to allow them to be successful. I saw many of those kids as students who may have dropped out, may not have graduated, may not have found their passion, may not have become contributing members of society, and attending this school made it possible for them.
The second thing that really stood out to me was that as each student came to the podium, there was a big screen that indicated the student’s name, school small at The Met, what they are passionate about, and what their future plan is – most if not all has some level of college as their next step. Intermingled in the graduation were student performances and a student who was aiming to accomplish a Guinness Books of World Records record. The student speeches were compelling. This was the best, least boring graduation I have ever attended. Here is a video of students and staff talking about The Met School: