Collegiate Students Experience Election Day

As Americans headed to the polls on Election Day 2016, Collegiate School students in each division learned about and participated in the democratic process with activities geared toward each age group and grade level.
In the Lower School, JK-4th Grade classes took part in a lighthearted vote on a topic chosen by their grade. Students headed to Burke Hall throughout the morning, presented their voter registration and were helped by 4th Grade voting assistants. The voting choices were as follows:
  • JK - Piggy or Elephant
  • Kindergarten - Chrysanthemum or Chester
  • 1st Grade - Jump rope or Skip-it toy
  • 2nd Grade - Narwhal or Manatee
  • 3rd Grade - Crazy Hat Day or Pajama Day
  • 4th Grade - Patriot or Loyalist
“We feel it is important for the students to be part of and understand the process of elections, yet keep the focus on topics our children are able to comprehend,” said Lower School Head Debbie Miller.
The Middle School held a mock election through the early afternoon in Reed-Gumenick Library. Students had to register to vote on Monday in order to participate. They cast their ballots for the candidates electronically using an access code.
“We are using this mock election as a way for students to understand why they support a candidate, not just because they have heard their parents and friends support that candidate,” said Middle School history teacher David Fuller.We are focused on the students becoming more familiar with the issues, so that they can be better informed citizens.”
Upper School economics teacher Rob Wedge spoke at Monday’s Upper School Assembly about how the Electoral College works and how the election might unfold if no candidate were able to reach 270 electoral votes or if there were a tie.
“We want students to know that there is a process,” he said. “And that the process takes a long time.”
Whatever the results, Mr. Wedge encouraged students to be respectful of each other — and of the election process — whatever the result might be. And if they were unhappy with the outcome, he urged them to get involved.
“This is your democracy,” he said. “This is your democratic republic. Honor it, respect it and cherish it. And have fun watching what will happen.”