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tv   Earth Focus  LINKTV  May 14, 2022 12:00pm-12:31pm PDT

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q - [announcer] this program was made possible by roos roast coffee, home of lobster, butter, love, art and coffee experiences, in ann arbor, michigan. to learn more, visit enspire dental, committed to supporting the community through comfortable, comprehensive, and personalized dental care. explore more at fresh forage, committed to delivering locally sourced, fresh, seasonal food experiences in the ann arbor area. find out more at the film program at college for creative studies, providing students with the tools needed for careers in dynamic creative industries. learn more at
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the michigan theater and state theater, bringing films and performing arts to the greater ann arbor area. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. (radio static vibrating) - [narrator]or the pa two weeks in ann arbor, michigan, parents, and many children have been waiting in line in ann arbor, michigan, inometimes freezg weather. thdistrict only ternativpublic hh school in ann arbor, michigan, inonpr'don gae rerts.ther. - [d] more tn a doze ightly cored ten dot the la behind e ann arbor blic schl distri administtion buiing. ev since march7, th has beehome to ahopingo secure a spoti ofistrict sidents, in t coming ar's theshman clame atnn arbor commity high schoo (melw jazz mic)
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i waalway, t when learn aboucommunit it w like a ole fferent ll game r me. waalway, really wted toe le to exore the rld, and that what communitoffere a way tt no her scho offered en i g to haard, i was able to function pretty well. and maybe, in part, it was cmunity that taut me tha it's imptant to allenge yourses r being fferent's sa. th's not o bus. (lghs) - [intviewer] it? - don't kn. at is, tt's our s. all ght. i used to ri the bus ck and fth to counity every dafor the first uple s that was gng to counity. i used to ri the bus ckit was long buride.
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o exted to gto schoo l dn't matr how rk, i have aiddo a she'in eightgrade, so this the yea when ks decide where they wt to go to hi school. for a while, s didn't wanty and because counity's now so popular and it's a lottery, and she sn't surthat she can tn e's gonngo in for the ttery.
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(students chattering) (upbt band mic) - this is the st day welcome the fir day ofchool, 20117! rowd cheing) we are slucky th we g to havell of our assembls in thi beautiful, beautiful place. westandrew's is rt wof o communi, and that what counity high schl is abo. giving, d learng how tbe a rt of a counity. i amnspired studts, by sff. i ok at yo passnate teaers whve been rking so hard a. i ok at yo so forxample, dith dewkin,
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(crowd cheering) right here. judiths 73 yea old d stilcomes tochool (cwd cheerg) (mlow jazzusic (stunts chatring) - i we to community high, graduated in '76. i didn't go there all four years, but that group was the first graduating class that had been there, many of my classmates from ninth grade to 12th. this is the founding blueprint. this was the group of teachers and administrators, and so on, who designed the school, including the idea of what forums are, why it's called community, that you earned credit for doing stuff in the community.
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basically it ran the gamut and they, i think they tried to find teachers who were willing to, think outside the box. - some people stuck with very traditional values about the classroom and the structure, and then there was a more vociferous group, of which was par that sa, "l's play wi this.s a let's pl with th."roup, - so it s a combinion of people who were failing at other schools and also geniuses. it kind of went to that spectrum and i was failing, (laughs) but community high saved my life and i do hold it totally responsible and everything. - i think a lot of peopleere chalnged by whawas goin on in e late 's, rly '70s, ychologilly, thrown uin the a. g
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rly '70s, ychologilly, - l of thisort of turmoilm trying to ttle things down, and theyried tocreate pgrams fos cause yohad pioneehig, this big high scol there they're building huron, those two schools were the most expensive schools in the country when they were built. - these parents, they wanted something different for their kids, some kind of alternative school program. so then, bruce macpherson was brought in as the superintendent because he had started something in philadelphia called the school without walls, and that was a program where kids could get credit in philadelphia called the school without walls, for ing wo ouide the hool. and th was likthe ed that routed into community high school. - well, i was interested in being in a new type of high school and it was groundbreaking, so i was excited about that. father s pret frustrad
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because they did not have the backing of most everybody. i mean, if you go back and check the "ann arbor news" out, you'll see some things going on d my fatr used t comeome and say, "m." e time that had r very fst meeti at the church across the street, well, i think one of the articles, or on the news or something, said about the pot smoking in the church in thealcony. so my ther definitely had to mtion that. - i waed to be exposeto pel who were aware and tnking. community high was the closest thing to that. so i came in with that understanding, as well, that we were changing education throughout the country. (mellow jazz music)
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- well, forum is the most important part of the school. if forum is done right, that's where you do a lot of learning and a lot of the learning you do in higschool igrowing . it's nice to have der kids and yoger kidsogher, the youer kids n len from t older ks anthen he a gnificanadult that ks are ab to talko. i ink peop undetand homoom, but ey don'tnderstan th a forumeader goes cping, had micen my clot th year (cckles) ani had toay the ds, "wcan't dohis. thpantry'setting iaded."
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moand a fom dad. we calitm [studentokay, what ee do we ed? - hey, iill buy u so, i n't knowhe junk od. u give mthe name - tudent] t takis ego. (students loudlyhatterg) wait ainute! (sdents lahing) wait ainute! - of crse foruwas diffent cause that was n reallylike a. i kn we woulplan ouramping ips and uff likehat, oromethinghat theyneeded tdeal t that wast so mh during the rum. wi the teaer, talkg th out whatas goingn.-one (sdents lahing) wi the teaer, talkg t- kids, think yove got i u're n gonna srve. no, the ney, i dn't ll you bause.. - it'she greatt concep because gives u your ahor. fome, i think real did subitute for a faly wherei wasn'tettg that se nourishment or care, i guess, somebody who's genuinely caring
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about(upbt rock mic) wfare. ♪ oy, o oy ♪ nicloveforum evy day ♪ hdoes lot ofwork just toe♪ ♪ hey craig, that's the wrong grade ♪ hdoes lot ofwork just toe♪ ♪ y're loweng his g forum'supposedto be ana the wrong grade ♪hat gradshould be a 10 space stop th madnessight awa ♪ thedon't len anhing anyys ♪ ♪hy didn'i get an a in fom ♪ i would on ese camping trs and aunwould sato me, "judith, are other teachersoing thi"s and i'say, "ye we all it. or, "wre all hing actities that iolve speing daysith. that. that iolve s♪ who daysith. ♪ give ck an "a that. in fom (gro laughin - th room, ihink sotimes it like 11 that.
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its reallyot. it's le at thend of thday, kids comin the rm you have anthey're uncing and theye starvi, mean, it kind ofice becausin aay we al kindf collap togethe - nterview] have you beent the school for a cole of yes? - nterview] have you beent- 30 school [intervier] haveou been in this om for aong time - s, allhat time this is room, mroom. - anks, juth. - bye,ou're welcome, guys. - -- anmore?h. he didn'just eatwo hot dogs. - communy high h adul who wou say, "oh, i perceive your interests, and let's give you this opportunity." comnityigh, community reurce, rit? and let's give you this opportunity." (mlow ja music) - david tuck and i were quite close, and he's the one who came to me as dean and said, "we wanna have skateboarding for pe credit.
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is it okay?" i said, "just come back and explain to me w it quafies, 'cause ion't knoanythingabout s" d so they ok me t in thearking l d they we whizzi arou and jumng on the little cement abutments. and i was like, "i'm down, let's do it." - i wasn't a big fan of gym class, so me and my friend marnin created a community resource class called, swim, swam, swum, where we snuck into swimming pools of hotels around ann arbor and recorded our swming and our heart rate, but also wrote abo the exrience otrying to sneaknto thes pooland not t caught. - we had sdent rsery inhe school where kids would bring their babies and leave them there. other kids could get counity reurce cret and leave them there. folearning how t takeare of babies, which is really cool. - they had to do a certain amount of educational value and the kids had to learn some.
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mean, ifhe cr is being monitored correctly, they have to learn something. - but over time, it became a little more structured, and so there were classes like you would see in any high school, but you also had a real option if you wanted to do something different. - i was in charge of community resource department, and teaching speech, and a forum leader, and had huneds of crs. i would have caseloa somemes 250 s. a loof kids ent more te ouof schoothan in school and it was based on the parkway philadelphia idea that educaon isn't contained in brick and mortar. - [narrator] cue down. - good afternoon and welcome to "students in the spotlight." i'm vicky henry, and today with me, i ha, who is a student at community high school. hi, tracy. - hi. - i understand community high's an alternative high school. at's that mean? - it's a lot more freedom than most schools. like, i don't know, most ann arbor schools.
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- what do you like best about this school? - i like the freedom and the teachers. they're really nice, and the students are nice too. - well, we're out of time for today. i hope you'll tune in tomorrow when i'll be talking to another community high student. thanks, tracy. - all right, leah, do you have yr phone? you ha everying se you nd? - eah] yea you ha everying se - okay? it's jr kid's name, yourame, i thinwhere th're in hool rig now andhat's it cause myaughter,eah, is gonnanter theottery to see ishe getsn. ese didn exist ck when i went, sohis'll bdifferen leahdo you kwt wh to expe?ent, has anybody to you? - it was just rely packe so, it so popur now? that thehave to ve fi of thesthings
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au there'sust so many famies to ilude. yeah, ese e denitely n our era - thisne is. the's tidr right? that's. so my huand trevor aples thand hung t on? that's. thfront poh, ife ever ce to schl. ma yearsater, after i had alrey beenarried and vorced a had a cld, he and iet again, actually at a commuty high union, and beme frids. and then several years after that, we started dating and eventually got married atommunityigh scho (laus) on the front porch. - we definitely had different experices at community high. i have friends that are lifelong friends from my time at community, but you know, the other day kelly asked me who my forum leader was, i don't member w my for leader s.
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from thecadt (soft sic) and at's parof why it's surising fopeopleom thecadt that we' togetheand at we'retill togher. would have bn betteror me. g i wasn'trepared do scho how commity doeschool, or did sool then - [wom] how aryou? - she'totally lm. i'm . alread it seemso muchore profsional. weere so, t gonna say did and solready tugh, i n feel le it's a littleore seris and sothant was.h, - [teaer] we a know thatommuo
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anis aottery sool, ich meanevery ye... anstartingo figureut - when e my dad g rea. he kw about is planand wast anstartingo figureut - when e and thenn march my eighth grade year, he passed away. my mom was completely in favor of it. so it was an open secret that i lived in ypsilanti and was going to school in ann arbor. and so people, for the most part, just looked the other way. it wasn't until my junior year that it became a problem. what i ended up doing was, i got ancipateby the crt and i joed a co-. ani mod into ao-op
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and maybit didn' maybit only tters no this iwhere i usedo h, ani mod into ao-op ere the rt of gey, potical tys hung o. doou want see thfitness uff li the dan room and the rkout ro? - you wan go see , mom? l- wean see tom adancroom, ateast. never we into th fitns room. aughs) - [hnah] i suld notbe trust. that's true fa about m - [teach] i'm little b scare th you hdling th, hannah - ha h eep bassusic) we've goa lot ofews beuse, as u can se it the eleion. hillary d bern. 're coveng incarcerion agai whicwe've do inreviouissues, ich is cl.
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ould we en morboxes? tudents attering) fore itarted, 99. and thiss what i looks ke today have a "counicat"? - [stuy - 's nice givehem someing th everybo gets in the hool. and ommunicar" athe wh we distbute,, it one of osets moments ere everne... ani li walking athe aroundhe hallw,, and seng what ey're momelooking . (laughs) learningow to pu togeer a newaper and wring for it wasn instan anwhen youhi about eating aintellecal cultu
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th sdents acally val, of real work and are being used other sdents, a facuy, and son. and sowhen you cacreate rl work th studentcan enga with, it totally chang how u investn it (upbt jazzusic) - [stunt] okayso like 're ming bacin like,hat? [boy] wee probab not nna leavthere unl 10-ish. - [student] okayso like get ban itakes awhe. 10:30 or1. that mak sense,because have to. oheah. to repk this tre. thae so just liftt in as unit and 'll do t next one next to i soe're at e north erican ternatiol auto sw. it's aharity ga. thers going be over13,h
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a lot ofip's and . th is justne of nearly a hundr gigs that we' do thisear, and is is onof the bigger os for anit all ces o of what was g on d then ler on mi gracin the 's and '9. the whole idea was to make a small group jazz program. at's alle do her at's whaseparateus fr every oer school is th that's at we sty, anthat's a we stud th t(brit jazz mic), (crowdhattering) - foall your perfornd th t(brit jazz mic), communithigh jaz - foall your perfornd and yoguys areigh schoers? walked pt and it was jt amazin please, es th get losor that' how ithould be,
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anreally, at's wha you nt to aceve in high hool, becausio disenfrahisement are so easy with adolescence school tt sort acceptethat d rolledith it w gonnbe bettefor kids school tt sort (ueat musit - therwas alwayshat rely marvelousural of the anti-zebra scot. it w right nt to the offe ofwhere there's the zebra of many different patterns runng agains the de of zeas, it w right nt to the offe who look sort astound. e expresons on those zeas' face in theriginal ral e ally goo the zea has a t more going onhan rainw, right thers patter, it's ny diffent pattes. anytng can hpen on an ti-zebra - oh, this is the where the rest of the pictures are.
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the and th'80s bloacks. soi'm heren the main offe waitin anthen we' gonna go upstai to judh's clasoom d i'll da little cha tellhem abouwhat it was li , d what jith was ke wh she fir startedere i ink she'still in the se classrm. (students chattering) - would you all welcome kelly, and she can have a seat? (group clappin yoget the at of hor. - so i fst came commity in t ninth gde. thatas 1983, and i graduad in 198 so i graated 3years ag itas fillewith peoe who dn't qui fit in other places, but people don't fit in for all kinds of reasons. there's all kinds of things that could be making you feel - [inteo u wantor christmas? - i want some cotton underwear. - [interviewer] anything else? - cotton underwear, get a close-up on the cotton underwear. long johns, get a close-up on the long johns! - [kelly] like these! (tv static vibrating)
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(hard rock music) - [interviewer] why did you decide to come to community high school? - community was a place where you could fit in, even if you had never fit in before. (students shouting) we had this sense that, if we didn't keep it together, that a minute w they could cle the scol.hat, is coulde the la year. thaso we worked really coulhard to reach outt, to theommunitynd try to g. is coulde the la year. an we dithe rst seveor eight the administrative role became very, very crucial, right then, for posterity, not ju balanceour budg, ta care ofisciplin t we we really fighti foy
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and thatight be e - everybody was afraid. i mean, we've always been afraid because they had count days, they would count the numbers, that somebody is going to come and shut us down because we're not getting enough students. so i bought a full page ad in "the observer" and said"communi high enrollment starts march 31st," sometng, eats are limed." d peoplehowed up firsyear, so peopleined up, but they got right in. the second year, the line was too long and then it got crazy. (ueat musi i mean, it got crazy because people started realizing that this place is a pretty good deal. - we are in the parking lot of the balas administration building.
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my friend d i were talking with ourarents aut howe reallwanted or who w gonna srt i d my momas a sine mom workg in jacon at the time, 45 minutes away. and she knew that if the line started during the middle of the week, she wouldn't be able to get me there in the morning. and so, i was the first one who showed up and a woman got out of the minivan and she said, "excuse me, are you starting the line?" and i wasort of ke, eah, i guess i a" "excuse me, are you and they cled peope?" and they had some sort of elaborate phone tree plan. and within 30 minutes, the lot was full of eager, bright eyed, bushy tailed eighth graders, who were really committed to getting the education th communi would pvide. - if you're forced twait inine for eks on e,
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you' gonna rlly ve whaver itas that you waited for. so there must be like a super intensity amg the pele that wait in. - when wwere tre, some natiol magazis camen and di sometories osomethg, mae "teen"agazines or somhing like that. - i personally think it was kurt cobain and nirvana. i mean, they came out , then the whole grunge movement hit like hardcore. it was just, "i want to be alternative just like everybody else." so you go to community high to be alternative. - ke comnity wasalready t, just like everybody else." and l of a sden the alternative became cool. - it became the cool school because it bame the smart school. community kids were outperforming e two ma high schools. parents recognized that the quality of the education was almost rivaling a private scol education. it was aery compcated ti because had bui up to that, and i dn't likit, be realonest. i mean the first time the line came, when it lasted all night, it was sort of a festival and that was funny. it had nothing to do with the inconvenience for me,
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but see, i could see who wasn't going to community all of these years. it wasn't a diverse school and that was pointed out to me by other people inhe community allhe time. i alwa wanted figure a more eitle way of dog it, but i couldn't come up with anything other than a lottery. - at first, i thought a lottery was a bad idea because then we wouldn't necessarily get the most committed people. but whate were gting om that nd of a ne was that it gave apecial priority to pele but whate were gting who could afford to hire om people to stay in line, could fly their grandparents in, or quit work for two weeks, and that's crazy. (upbeat music) - even before there was a lottery or aine, you ha be guid ther often, someone and so, you wer't coected ino a network, that kneabout thplace and kn what itepresent and at its pential w, you weret gonna get acss t
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and kn what itepresent - th have oueach proams. they tryery hard and kn whait is a irnt - th loery, ann bor is auper ric super whe town, mpared to what used toe. acommunity has a ecial, precious place in the community. and frankly, the community is getting more wealthy and community high school has been getting more wealthy. so although it's still a lottery, you ill justave the peoplehe toctually t to comnityhigh sce still a lottery, and invved on tt vel. - soommunityad thisreputati of , so a l of the ildrenchool, afric descentere not and invved on tt vel. in that hool. so a l of the ildrenchool, afric descentere not i thk after got and inthe more came,. but it was still a special group of students. kids didn't want to leave the mainstream high school. - i d a missn as dean to incase the minori enroment, peod. didn't ce if the state i or t districwanted i i was li, "no, i wee a counity,


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