Exploratories provide opportunity for student choice in areas of interest to meet credit requirements in the arts, sports, and music. Exploratories meet three afternoons a week until 4 pm throughout the year.
Examples of recent offerings
Performing Arts: Improvisational Theater, Belly Dancing, Spring Play
Music: Chorus, rock band, guitar, drumming
Visual Arts: Figure drawing, water color painting, photography, rock sculpture, film-making and woodworking
Crafts: Stained glass, bookbinding, jewelry, enameling and batik
Drama: At least one major performance per year
Sports: Competitive Soccer, Ultimate Frisbee, Basketball, Snowboarding, Alpine and Nordic skiing
Other Activities: Fencing, Yoga, Zumba, Kayaking, Surfing, Swimming, Mountain Biking, Hiking, Canoeing and Kayaking
An understanding for the arts encourages appreciation for self, peers, and culture. At Compass, all students are expected to participate in at least two art activities throughout the year. Class offerings include film making, drawing, painting, animation, photography, sculpture, stained glass, woodcarving, and jewelry making.
The art program exposes students to a variety of media and techniques. This includes 2- dimensional and 3-dimensional art. Through these classes we introduce students to various historical and contemporary works that educate and influence the students work. Basic skills, composition, design, and critique methods are taught to all students. The opportunity to focus in depth on a medium of choice can be arranged between students and staff. Students are assessed on participation, not perceived ability.
Compass excels at incorporating the arts throughout the academic curriculum. In every class, there are opportunities where students use visual arts to access, explore, and share ideas. For example, in the “Who Am I” unit for middle school, students write narrative autobiographies and poems, as well as make personalized masks that reflect their character. Through these many opportunities to use creative arts, Compass students improve their ability to communicate beyond the written and spoken word.
Physical activity is an essential part of health and wellness and we keep students moving at Compass. Through exploratory time three afternoons a week, students have the opportunity to engage in both competitive and non-competitive athletic activities. Non-competitive offerings include fencing, archery, belly dancing, yoga, winter survival, mountain biking, hiking, Frisbee, baseball, and winter sports.
Compass also has competitive sports teams in soccer, basketball, and our spirited Ultimate Frisbee squad. In addition, through a partnership with local public high schools, Compass high school students play on various sports teams. Most recently, Compass students have played on soccer teams with Bellows Falls Union High School, Nordic Skiing with Brattleboro, basketball with Leland and Gray, and cross country running with Springfield. While we aim to perform our best in inter-school competition and we certainly enjoy winning, the overriding goal for the sports program is to have students learn to strive for their personal best as individuals and as a team.
The weekly schedule is adjusted in Winter to accommodate winter sports at Okemo and Grafton Ponds and skating at Vermont Academy. All students are required to participate in this program and be engaged in an outdoor activity at this time. There is a minimal fee for Winter Sports charged by the ski areas.