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griffin, micaela, larry
Griffin, 13, Micaela, almost 16, and Larry, 12, like to do things as a group.

Griffin, Micaela, and Larry's Viewpoints

How long have you been coming to DVS?
G:
It's my fourth year. I started when I was nine.
M: This is my fifth year. I started when I was eleven.
L: This is my first year.

What do you like doing at DVS?
L:
Sewing.
M: Mostly we hang out outside. We like to watch movies and listen to music and dance.

Over time, have there been changes in the things you like doing?
M:
The more people who come [to DVS], it changes.
G: Since it's such a small school, one person can change everything really easily.
L: I changed everyone. (Laughter).
M: We became really good friends and hung out more.

How do you decide what to do each day?
M:
Well, there are two things that we must discuss every day: Where to have lunch and ...
G, L, M: We just kind of play it by ear, it's kind of spontaneous, it's really free, it's just what we want to do. We do everything that we can.

How do you get the resources you need to do the things you want to do here?
M:
Well, that's why the school is so cool. The school has almost everything you could do, and the things that you don't have, you usually can get from other sources, like School Meeting.
G: You can go and ask for things, and usually you can get it if you don't already have it.

For example?
G:
Drums. And one year we wanted to have a Halloween party, and then we went and asked for money in the School Meeting and we got it.

What are you most proud of that you've done during your time at DVS?
M:
I was JC Clerk for a year and a half. I was really proud of myself for doing that, 'cause I never thought I could do that.

People write complaints, then the JC -- Judicial Committee -- handles them. There's two people that run the meeting, and I was one of them. You handle the order of the meeting, you just keep it calm and automatic, and you do a lot of paperwork, which is not fun, but it's part of the job. Now I'm Assistant School Meeting Chair.

What is your best skill or talent?
M:
Griffin's greatest talent or skill is probably being prepared and good at fixing things. That's true! He's the go-to guy.
L: And he's strong. Micaela can sing and act. She can dance. We all laugh together, too, every day almost.
M: Larry's really fun to be with. He can sew really well. He's the party person.

Has the staff helped you in any way?
L:
Yeah. All the staff here are very nice.
M: All the staff here are very supportive.
L: Very supportive.
G: They don't judge you.
M: Vicente is the fix-it guy and the music guy. Anne is the logical one and takes care of all the school stuff. Anne-Martine is the really caring one and the creative one.
L: Anne-Martine's the one who taught me how to sew.
G: It's not awkward, it's like we're really friends.
M: It's a good balance of staff members. Yes.

What do you think about how decisions are made at DVS?
G:
It's not perfect, it's a good base. JC's still not perfect.
L: If you left something out by accident, it's like, "No doing this for a week."
M: It's just cause and effect, you do something and then you get affected by it.

How do people get along together here?
L:
Everyone's really close, it's like a family.
M: Everyone's really pretty good, and the thing about it is, if you do something wrong, everyone knows about it. News travels fast. When something bad happens at the school, usually everyone's supportive of fixing it.

How does DVS compare to other schools you've attended?
L:
I love it. People are nicer. They're more accepting. Very much so.
G: I was homeschooled my whole life, and I came here because I was so social I just couldn't stay home all day.

What would you advise another kid who is thinking about coming to DVS?
L:
Don't be shy.
M: It's harder to fit in if you're shy.
L: My first day, I was friends with everyone.
G: If they're kind of shy, and we're being crazy and stuff, then they feel left out.

What could make the transition easier for shy kids?
G:
Well, we always try to reach out to them and talk to them.
M: Like yesterday. There's a new girl, and she didn't talk much. We just asked her to come outside with us, and then she talked with us.