Clubs and Organizations
The Upper School offers a wide range of student-led clubs, organizations, and leadership opportunities. These groups are important pieces of the student experience, and time is set aside every week during X-period for groups to meet. Some groups are open for anyone to join; others require an election or selection process; and, others are part of a class and are taken for credit. Students are encouraged to form new clubs and organizations with peers who share their interests.
The Upper School also offers a range of club sports that are open to all students. Learn more about club sports.
- "Elected and Selected" Groups
- Course-Based Activities
- Open-Membership Clubs and Organizations
- Affinity/Special Interest Groups
Groups that require election or a selection process:
Upper School Council (USC) is SPA's student government organization. Sixteen members are elected representing Grades 9-12. Visit the USC website.
- Student Activities Committee (SAC) organizes Upper School social events, dances, and other activities. Nineteen members are elected representing Grades 9-12.
- Committee for Community Conduct (C3) works with the Dean of Students and other faculty to help build a positive academic and community culture. Ten members are elected representing grades 9-12.
- Class Leadership Councils (CLC'S) represent their grade levels in Grades 9-12 and work with the Dean of Students and Lead Advisors on planning grade level meetings, activities and events. CLC requires application and selection.
- The Student Technology Committee (STC) works with the students, administration, and the Technology Department to help coordinate SPA's technology policies and promote technological literacy within the student body. Six members are elected representing grades 9-12.
Student Intercultural Life Committee (SILC) focuses on student experience and student programming through the lens of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. The committee seeks a cross-representation of student members from grades 9-12 who represent various identities. Committee members will receive on-going support and training through the Office of Intercultural Life. Additionally, the committee will collaborate with US affinity/special interest groups and the Faculty Upper School Intercultural Life Working group. In alignment with SPA’s DEI strategic plan, the work of SILC will focus upon strengthening an inclusive and welcoming environment where all individuals are respected and diversity is valued. The committee will develop educational opportunities for advisory, class meetings, and assemblies. Moreover, they will craft and submit proposals in support of community building pertaining to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging efforts.
Activities that are part of a class for credit:
The Rubicon is SPA's student newspaper. The Rubicon is widely recognized as one of the best student newspapers in the country, and has been awarded numerous state, regional, and national awards in recent years for both its print and online editions. Students interested in working on The Rubicon take a series of Journalism courses within the English Department for credit. View Journalism course descriptions or read The Rubicon online.
- SPA's Debate team is one of the best in the state, consistently winning Minnesota state titles and competing at the national and international level. Students interested in Debate take a series of Debate courses within the English Department for credit. View Debate course descriptions.
- The IBID yearbook is for students interested in journalism, photography, graphic design, and publications management. Students interested in working on the yearbook are able to take a series of classes within the English Department for credit. View course descriptions.
Spartan Robotics: Our upper school supports two First Technology Challenge (FTC) teams: #11117 The Autonomice and #12660 The Robotters. Participation involves building, fabricating, programming, STEM outreach, and technical communications. Students interested in participating in the FTC teams should enroll in the fall semester robotics course.
Groups that have open membership
Every year, students organize and participate in dozens of clubs and organizations that are open to all Upper School students with common interests. These open-membership clubs and organizations are largely student-driven and change from year to year.
Here is a sample (but not an exhaustive list) of some of the opportunities available:
- A Capella Club gives students a unique opportunity for vocal performance outside of Academy Chorale and Summit Singers.
- Book Club allows members to express their emotions through literature and a collective love for reading.
- Chess Club is an organization aiming to teach the game of chess and offer an opportunity to play chess with other students. There are chess puzzles, casual games, and tournaments.
- Community Action and Service welcomes students of all backgrounds to provide support to communities in need. This is a passionate group of students centered around volunteering.
- Game Club is a space for students to relax and play card, board, and video games in a moderated space where everyone feels comfortable and welcome.
- Intercultural Club is devoted to honoring and recognizing the mosaic of identities, traditions, and values in our community to further promote inclusivity and interconnectivity among all cultures.
- Iris: Art + Lit seeks to celebrate the diverse creative voices in our community and encourage engagement with the arts.
- Knitwits is a textile arts club for students who craft. Come to Knitwits to work on your latest project, share supplies and patterns, or learn new skills. We can teach you how to knit!
- Math Team encourages student interest in mathematics and competes in the Minnesota State High School Math League.
- Music Club is a group for students who are passionate about music. Over the course of the year, the group plays covers and original music in small groups.
- Outdoors Club gets students outside in the fresh air and enjoying a break. Additionally, there is a focus on sustainability and how it relates to protecting our planet.
- People for Environmental Protection seeks to improve the sustainability of SPA by maintaining a pollinator garden, setting new recycling standards, and further conversations on food waste.
- Pickleball Club plays pickleball!
Ping Pong Club meets to play table tennis!
- Play Club allows all students a space to play in the gym, meet their fitness goals, and make new friends along the way.
- Quiz Bowl is a trivia-based competition game. Over the year, the team will play in tournaments, league play, and strive to make it to nationals.
- Spartans Against Destructive Decisions (SAAD) seeks to promote decision-making that positively impacts us as individuals and our communities by providing resources, space for conversations, and engagement.
- Science Alliance is SPA’s home for all science enthusiasts! We carry out demonstrations and bring in speakers to discuss recent science discoveries and related events.
Sexuality and Gender Equity seeks to make SPA an inclusive and respectful environment for students and faculty of all genders.
- SPARK! Maker's Space's goal is to give students the time and opportunities to design and create to their heart's content with all the equipment and guidance available to them in the Schilling Center Design Lab.
- StartUp: Entrepreneur Club seeks to guide ideas into reality. We aim to work together to learn business skills and create a space to have open discussion about ideas and their place in the market.
Groups that have affinity membership
An affinity group is a group of people who share a common aspect of their identity. They may be focused on different parts of identity, such as race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, etc. Anyone can participate in an affinity group as long as you share that aspect of your identity. Students may work with Intercultural Life if they are interested in creating a new affinity group.
- Adoptee Affinity Group (Love & Grace) is an affinity group for adopted students, where you can further explore who you are with questions like why, who, when, how, etc.
- Asian Student Alliance is an affinity group that seeks to make a stronger and friendly Asian community within SPA.
- Black Student Union (BSU) is an affinity group for Black identifying students at SPA.
- Common Ground connects and celebrates Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) students. Build connections and support through meaningful conversations about your SPA experience.
- HerSpace provides a safe space for female identifying students to come and get support from one another and discuss ways to raise awareness around issues that affect female identifying students.
- Latinos Unidos strives to create a safe, fun, and understanding environment for the Hispanic/Latinx identifying students in the SPA community.
- Lovelace Society is a special interest group that explores the intersection of technology, creativity, and the arts. This group is open to female-identifying or non-binary students in grades 6-12.
- Mishpacha is an affinity group for SPA’s Jewish student community that welcomes Jews of all denominations, levels of observance, and political views.
- Muslim Affinity Group fosters discussions that center around how religion shapes our lives and how to build a community among the Muslim students at SPA.
- Rainbow Connection is a fun and safe space for SPA students who belong to the LGBTQ+ community. Activities include talking about queer pop culture and exploring a variety of media.
Trinity is a non-denominational Christian affinity group for students of all backgrounds to connect over a shared love and following of Christ. Trinity focuses on the global community of Christ and the cultures surrounding one's beliefs.
Groups that have special interest membership
A special interest group is a group of people who may or may not share a common aspect of their identity. The group has an identified topic, theme, or focus that the group is committed to working towards.
- Neurodiversity Group is a special interest group whose focus is educating the SPA community on neurodivergence and creating a safe space for people to discuss and learn about neurodivergence.
- Antiracism Group is a student group for students who want to explore their racial identity in order to actively become better allies to Black, Indigenous and people of color, and work to dismantle white supremacy.