Young Voices at Crosstown’s Heart

We are celebrating making it to the final round of the XQ Super School Project with the Twelve Days of XTH! Each day we’ll release portions of our XQ application so you can learn more about the vision for Crosstown High. 

XQ application question: How will your school support and enable students to form positive identities as continuous learners, build complex skills, and contribute as members of their communities?

Photo: Joanna Zhang

Photo: Joanna Zhang

Young voices are at the heart of Crosstown High. Almost 200 Memphis teenagers have contributed to the mission, purpose, and values of XTH, and they have given concrete ideas for how we can cultivate student agency and engagement:

-Begin each school year with a week-long Kick Off Retreat, in which students and staff are on equal standing. Relationships and trust will be built through fun, interactive exercises; a “living social contract” will be developed; aspirations for the year will be discussed; and a piece of art will be created that expresses our school’s core values.

-Elect youth and adult “School Culture Team” representatives. Representatives will serve as liaisons within XTH to help find solutions to conflicts and support the implementation of the social contract, values, and mission.

-Establish a culture of ongoing reflection and dialogue. Review our social contract daily and update it as new ideas and needs arise in our community.

-Utilize a centrally-located community bulletin board. Students and adults are invited to give input concerning life at XTH, share any new ideas or concerns they may have, and celebrate our successes.

-Designate time each week for peer-to-peer instruction and support.

-Assess and celebrate students’ growing competencies. Use engagement tools like digital badges and public presentations of research and projects.

-Allow students time to rest and socialize in order to foster healthy relationships and mental well-being.

An attachment to our XQ application:

Student Journeys – Two students, two paths through XTH. An infinite number of incredible learning experiences. (PDF)

Note: Some XQ application elements have been lightly edited for clarity or brevity.

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