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.
Groups that require election or a selection process:
Upper School Council is SPA's student government organization. Sixteen members are elected representing Grades 9-12. Visit the USC website.
- Student Activities Committee organizes Upper School social events, dances, and other activities. Nineteen members are elected representing Grades 9-12.
- Committee for Community Conduct works with the Dean of Students and other administrators to hear student discipline cases, including instances of academic dishonesty and violations of the Student Code of Conduct, and make recommendations for appropriate consequences. Ten members are elected representing grades 9-12.
- Peer Helpers work with the Upper School Counselor and are trained to offer peer-to-peer support. Peer Helpers requires application and selection.
- Class Leadership Councils represent their grade levels in Grade 10-12 and work with the Dean of Students on activities and events. CLC requires application and selection.
- The Student Technology Committee 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.
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 and Art and Literature magazine are for students interested in journalism, photography, graphic design, and publications management. Students interested in working on the yearbook or magazine take a series of classes within the English Department for credit. View course descriptions.
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; a sample list of traditionally popular open-membership groups is below.
- A Capella Club: A Capella Club gives students a unique opportunity for vocal performance outside of Academy Chorale and Summit Singers.
- Action for Gender Equality: Action for Gender Equality is dedicated to facilitating action directed at promoting gender equality in the SPA community and the broader Twin Cities. Meetings over the course of the year will include brainstorming projects, creating educational resources, and more.
- Asian Student Alliance: Asian Student Alliance (ASA) is an affinity group that focuses on creating a safe space for Asian-identifying students and provides opportunities to share and learn about Asian culture and common experiences.
- Black and Brown Girls: Black and Brown Girls (BBG) is an affinity group for Black and Latino female identified students at SPA. Our goal is to create a safe space, empower each other, and build community.
- Black and Brown Males: Black and Brown Males provides a safe space for Black and Brown males to achieve their dreams and define success according to their gifts, talents, and interests.
- Business Club: The Business Club's mission is to provide students the chance to learn about basic business strategies and investing.
- Common Ground: Common Ground is an Affinity Groups for all students of color that strives to create a safe space for students of color and to share their experiences with the broader SPA community.
- Community Action and Service: CAS's mission is to build connections between SPA students and the broader community through service opportunities. The group strives to use resources to help create a more equitable and united society.
- Film Club: Film Club is a student-run organization devoted to exposing SPA students to a diverse series of films that will excite viewers and encourage conversations around movies.
- Game Club: Game Club is a student run organization that plays board games, card games, and video games. In the past, the group has organized events like the Fire Boy and Water Girl Tournament and provided activities at the Class of 2023's 9th Grade Retreat.
- Gender and Sexuality Acceptance Club: The mission of the GSA is to create a culture of safety and acceptance towards people’s gender and sexual identities within the SPA community. The GSA is a collection of people allied in promoting awareness and understanding of the LGBTQ+ community.
- Health and Wellness Club: Our goal is to promote a physically and mentally healthy lifestyle among the SPA community by providing helpful reminders to the community about general exercise, health issues related to online learning (both in school and out), safety reminders in relation to Covid-19, and other initiatives with the school nurse and wellness offices.
- HerSpace: To create a space for female-identifying students where the common identity of female is affirmed, a variety of perspectives are celebrated, and the fact that intersecting identities inform each individual's lived experience is honored.
- Intercultural Club: Celebrating the mosaic of culture and traditions in the SPA community to promote inclusivity across all facets of the human experience.
- Latinos Unidos: Latinos Unidos is an affinity group where any Latinx identifying student can gather to connect with other students who share that identity. Latinos Unidos is committed to raising awareness and respect in the broader community while also fostering one’s self-identity.
- Math Team: The mission of the Math Team is to encourage student interest in mathematics and compete in tournaments in the Minnesota State High School Math League.
- Mispacha: Mishpacha is an affinity group for SPA’s Jewish student community which provides space to discuss current events, celebrate holidays, and simply bond and recognize each other as a Jewish community.
- Music Lab: The Music Lab is a community of musicians and music-lovers that seeks to broaden its horizons through collaboration and experimentation with various genres of music. A typical in-person meeting consists of informal small group rehearsals.
- Outdoors Club: The mission of Outdoors Club is to get students to spend time more outdoors. The club tries to go on weekend hikes and plan fun events that are not exclusive to members.
- People for Environmental Protection: PEP's mission is to protect the environment on local and global levels by improving the sustainability efforts of the school and supporting/promoting state-wide and nation-wide climate initiatives.
- Play Club: The mission of the Play Club is to provide gym time to students during the school day. A normal "meeting" for the play club consists of a 45-minute open gym in which students can participate in sports including basketball, soccer, football, volleyball, and more.
- Political Awareness Club: The mission of the Political Awareness Club is to promote non-partisan student involvement in local and national politics.
- Quizbowl: The Quizbowl mission is to have relaxed community fun through "nerdy question-based competition." Yearly, the Quizbowl team competes locally and nationally.
- Rainbow Connection: Rainbow Connection is an affinity group for students and faculty who identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community and whose goal is to give the queer community at SPA a safe and inviting space to express themselves and receive support from other queer folks.
- RPG Club: RPG serves to provide a venue for students to play tabletop role-playing games such as Dungeons and Dragons.
- SADD: Spartans Against Destructive Decisions: SADD’s mission is to promote decision-making that positively impacts each individual and our communities by providing resources and space for conversations in order to help students be the best people they can be.
- Science Alliance: Science Alliance is a club whose members are enthusiastic about science. The club contains both the Science Olympiad and Science Bowl teams which both compete in both regional and state-level competitions. Science Bowl focuses on scientific knowledge, while Science Olympiad has both knowledge and building events.
- Spartan Boosters: The Spartan Boosters club serves to provide the student and faculty community with SPA sports news and to encourage spectator participation at SPA sporting events.
- Sports Analytics Club: The Sports Analytics Club is an open forum for all students who are committed to the analysis of sports strategy and who have a desire to understand how statistics work behind the scenes to produce and predict what we see in person and on TV.
- StartUp: Entrepreneur Club: StartUp connects SPA's young entrepreneurs with the resources they need to bring their ideas into reality through hands-on learning. In StartUp, you'll have a supportive, innovative workspace to develop your ideas into a business where you can be your own boss.
- Students for Social Justice: Students for Social Justice focuses on promoting discussion and awareness surrounding current social issues (both local and national), as well as working to empower the SPA student body to become more involved in issues they’re passionate about.
- Weightlifting Club: Love to workout and want to utilize the weight room more? During X-Period when clubs meet, the Weightlifting club meets in the space to introduce members to the weight room and provide an opportunity to improve athleticism.