Committee to evaluate Civitalks, make changes

Claire Goldsmith

The Character Education Committee will present its preliminary evaluation of Civitalks to faculty and administrators in order to decide what form, if any, the program will take for next year. The final Civitalks program took place April 9.

Civitalks, which began this year, brought small groups of students from all three grades at the Upper School together for 45-minute meetings once a month led by faculty members.

The purpose was for students and faculty to “come together and discuss matters of importance to our community,” Head of Upper School Audrius Barzdukas said at the beginning of the year.

During the year’s meetings, students played charades and took part in “survival games” emulating what would happen if they were survivors of a plane crash, talked about Jonathan Martin ’08 and his departure from the Miami Dolphins and made videos about daily life at Harvard-Westlake.

“The committee is in the midst of its evaluation, and when FAC approved our running a pilot project of Civitalks this year, one of the things that we said was, ‘We are going to try it, and we are going to evaluate it,’” Barzdukas said.

In order to determine the effectiveness of the program, Barzdukas said he hoped the committee would “ask and answer in very simple questions: Did Civitalks accomplish the things that we hoped it would accomplish? Did it build community? Did it raise consciousness about good character and ethical living among our students and faculty? Did it bring people closer together?”