Co-Curriculum is an essential part of Madeira’s mission of launching women who will change the world and a graduation requirement. 10th graders are required to complete the Serving Others Placement, the 11th grade are required to complete the Effecting a Change Placement, and the 12th graders are required to complete the Pursuing a Passion Placement. Madeira’s Co-Curriculum Program provides opportunities for progressive degrees of independence and is designed to respond to the needs of students at each level of their development.
The Co-Curriculum Office works individually with students helping them identify their skills, interests, and passions, while also collaborating with them to identify appropriate placements where they will challenge themselves and grow as independent young women. In addition to providing logistical support, the Co-Curriculum Office oversees a curriculum designed to help students reflect upon their experiences and individual growth. Students are assessed on various assignments, projects, and a capstone experience, and receive a letter grade based on these assessments.
1 Mod, Required for 10th Graders
Service is one of the pillars of Madeira’s founding and is the foundation for sophomore Co-Curriculum. Service takes students outside their comfort zones, into unfamiliar and challenging environments. These encounters broaden their understanding of local and global problems that will take a new generation of leaders to solve.
The sophomore Co-Curriculum program helps students examine two essential questions
How do we meet others where they are?
Why is understanding others essential for serving others?
These questions build upon the work students do in their 10th grade Global Studies classes and their Co-Curriculum experiences inform some of the work they will do for their research paper in Global Studies.
Students will explore their connection to their local community and the concepts of social responsibility and civic engagement by volunteering in the local community. For each placement, students are divided into teams and given the task to the needs of those they serve and consider ways they might support the community. One day a week, students participate in Learning to Serve Discussions and Guided Team Meetings, as well as Calleva, the outdoor leadership program on Madeira’s campus, to build their team skills.
Students are assessed on their ability to work as a member of a team, think creatively about local community challenges, demonstrate an understanding of those they serve develop workable solutions, and persuasively present their ideas.
1 Mod, Required for 11th Graders
Junior Co-Curriculum and U.S. History course are an integrated program. In their U.S. History courses, students will develop knowledge and practice skills that will help them in their internship on Capitol Hill. While on Capitol Hill, students will have hands-on experience that will inform their final research project for U.S. History.
In the first part of the U.S. History course, called the American Revolution and the Constitution, students will develop a working knowledge of how the U.S. government functions and what role Capitol Hill plays. Before students go to Capitol Hill, they will complete the PREP mod, which is one of their four U.S. History mods. During the PREP mod, students will work with their history teacher to practice the oral and written skills , awareness of current events, and the research skills necessary to work in a Congressional Office. Students also will identify a national policy issues that is important to them.
During their internship on Capitol Hill, students will submit a variety of assignments to the Co-Curriculum Office that will help them reflect upon their experience and their national policy issue. This policy issue will be the focus of their Co-Curriculum capstone project, the research-based culmination of their internship experience, as well as the final research project in U.S. History. In addition to their daily duties as Congressional interns, the Co-Curriculum Capstone project gives girls the opportunity to apply skills learned in the classroom – quantitative and analytical reasoning skills, oral and written communication skills, and research and tech skills – to effect change.
1 Mod, Required for 12th Graders
The Senior Co-Curriculum experience, by allowing students to participate with an internship of their choosing, is an opportunity to pursue a passion or area of interest and to check their ideal vision against reality.
Throughout their internships, students will submit reflections and various research assignments based on their experiences. Students will also be paired with a mentor, who will help them reflect on their experience.
Students will be challenged to investigate the internship’s industry or field of study, focusing on the trends and issues facing the field and the opportunities that exist within it as a career path. Additionally, students consider the ways that they might be a leader in the field or industry, reflecting on how their placement site is meeting its goals and thinking of the ways it might improve.
Seniors are eligible to apply for a Global Placement outside of the immediate Washington, DC area. A separate application is required for a Global Placement.
Ellie Peaks started working in the Co-Curriculum Office at Madeira in 2019. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and English from Clemson University and a Master’s degree in Teaching from Belmont University. Before coming to Madeira, she taught middle school reading, social studies, and writing for 10 years in Tennessee, South Carolina, and Washington, DC. In addition to working with students in Madeira's Co-Curriculum Office, she also advises Juniors and is an Assistant Dorm Director on campus.
Andrew Sharp taught at Madeira from 1995 to 2000 and returned in 2004. He earned a bachelor's degree in Political Science and English from Connecticut College and a master's degree in International Politics from The George Washington University. Before becoming Director of Co-Curriculum, he served as head of the History Department, was assistant academic dean and taught history.
Ms. West joyfully thrives in the Madeira Community. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Spelman College. After college, she continued her studies at Brooklyn College Graduate School for Education and Columbia University. Prior to Madeira, Ms. West worked for several charter schools in New York City including Excellence Girls Charter School and AMP Middle Academy. Through Co-Curriculum, Ms. West is excited to connect girls with opportunities outside of the classroom to create an enriching, well-rounded, and progressive learning experience. Ms. West also serves at the Equity Team Co-Lead for its inaugural year, helping to plan professional development for adults on topics about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Ms. West, is also the advisor for the Black Student Union and the Madeira Democratic Union. Ms. West also has the pleasure of serving as the Dorm Director for Main Dorm. In her spare time, she loves taking spin classes, perusing all things interior design, and reviewing recipes for her creative outlet entitled “What West Eats”.