Design Thinking is a five stage process: (1) empathize, (2) define, (3) Ideate, (4) prototype, and (5) test. The process is illustrated below:
The Design Thinking process draws on methods from engineering and design, and combines them with ideas from the arts, tools from the social sciences, and insights from the business world. Our students learn this process together, and then personalize it, internalize it, and apply it to their own challenges.[/engine_collapse] [engine_collapse title=”Expeditionary Learning” state=””]An approach to curriculum and instruction that makes standards come alive for students. Linking learning to real-world issues, students engage in projects that yield solutions for audiences beyond the classroom—“real work for real audiences.” In doing so, students meet rigorous standards, refine ideas, develop perseverance, and discover they can do more than they thought possible.[/engine_collapse] [engine_collapse title=”Field Work” state=””]Work conducted in the field or discipline represented by a learning expedition. Field work may be done on or off campus, usually with the guidance of an expert or as a result of preparation by an expert. The purpose of field work is to gather data to inform student understanding of big ideas and the related concepts of a learning expedition. For example, students participate in fieldwork by going to St. Mary’s Glacier to collect ice core samples as part of their expedition into the study of climate change and related biology, ecosystems, and social issues.[/engine_collapse] [engine_collapse title=”Flex Time” state=””]Unscheduled time that is utilized according to student and teacher needs. For example, flex time may consist of additional work time for project completion, time with an arts teacher to work on specific skills, additional foreign language practice, or mathematics lab extensions.[/engine_collapse] [engine_collapse title=”Integrated Studies” state=””]A unit of study that provides opportunities for students to use skills, concepts and content from several academic disciplines. For example, a unit of integrated study using the topic of genetic engineering provides opportunities in life science, social science, (historical context, questions of ethics, persuasive argument…) reading, writing, listening, speaking , and mathematical thinking.[/engine_collapse] [engine_collapse title=”Inquiry-based Learning” state=””]Learning through questioning, researching, and discovering.
An old adage states: “Tell me and I forget, show me and I remember, involve me and I understand.” Inquiry implies involvement that leads to understanding. Furthermore, involvement in learning implies possessing skills and attitudes that permit you to seek resolutions to questions and issues while you construct new knowledge.
Inquiry-based learning starts by posing questions, problems or scenarios—rather than simply presenting established facts or portraying a smooth path to knowledge. The process is often assisted by a facilitator. Inquirers will identify and research issues and questions to develop their knowledge or solutions. Inquiry-based learning includes problem-based learning, and is generally used in small scale investigations and projects, as well as research.[/engine_collapse] [engine_collapse title=”Learning Expedition” state=””]A long-term, in-depth, inquiry-based, investigation of a compelling topic that is aligned with district and state standards.[/engine_collapse] [engine_collapse title=”Listening Conferences” state=””]Listening Conferences are an opportunity to establish a relationship and connection between parents and teachers – in support of students – before the school year begins. They are a key component of the high level of personalized learning delivered through the Renaissance model. A Sign Up Genius to be sent out by the teaching staff, probably around mid July. Listening Conferences will be scheduled for Aug 10 and 11, 2017.[/engine_collapse] [engine_collapse title=”Makerspace” state=””]A physical space in the school designed for making “things.” A makerspace could conceivably have woodworking tools, metal fabricating tools, sewing machines, computers with design software, a 3D printer…imagine coming up with an innovative, creative idea and being able to fabricate it virtually “on the spot!”[/engine_collapse] [engine_collapse title=”Passion Project” state=””]A project done by individual students as means of exploring individual interests. Students will utilize time with their advisory group to help guide the use of passion project time.[/engine_collapse] [engine_collapse title=”Portfolio Presentations” state=””]A distinct type of presentation of learning. Learning portfolios—collections of student work, assembled by students with guidance and advice from peers and teachers–are built and reviewed each year grades 7-11. Students present these portfolios to panels of adults for feedback, and acknowledgement.[/engine_collapse] [engine_collapse title=”Presentations of Learning (POL)” state=””]Opportunities for students to demonstrate their understanding of a topic or concept. Presentations of learning can take a variety of forms which may include, but are not limited to community exhibition nights, oral/visual presentations to an interested audience, and portfolio presentations.
Presentations of learning serve a variety of purposes; to explain, to inform, and/or to persuade. Presentations of learning can occur within a learning expedition, at the culmination of a learning expedition, and at other times when students have reason to demonstrate their understanding of a topic or concept. Presentations are often associated with a service learning project.[/engine_collapse] [engine_collapse title=”Project-based Learning (PBL)” state=””]A teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an engaging and complex question, problem, or challenge.[/engine_collapse] [engine_collapse title=”Service Learning” state=””]Activities that involve students in community service and encourage students to apply the experience to personal and academic development.
Service Learning occurs when there is a balance between learning goals and service outcomes. Service Learning differs from internship experience or volunteer work in its intention to equally benefit the provider and the recipient of the service as well as to ensure equal focus on both the service being provided and the learning that is occurring. Service Learning is linked to real community needs that are designed in cooperation with community partners and service recipients. In service-learning, course materials inform student service and service informs academic dialogue.[/engine_collapse] [engine_collapse title=”Voyage” state=””]An Adventure Education trip off campus for several days/nights. Voyages are most often associated with spending time outdoors, in nature, experiencing reasonable challenge, and are designed to “know and grow” individuals and teams.[/engine_collapse] [engine_collapse title=”“We Are Crew”” state=””]Our school motto states “We are crew, not passengers.” This metaphor refers to a group in a boat on a long voyage, where everyone is needed to pull at an oar and no one sits by watching. In adhering to this motto, “Crew” can be used to reference both individual classrooms and the entire school community. A culture of crew strives to instill a sense of responsibility, participation, and cooperation among individuals, the student body, the school community, and the greater community. This motto represents a commitment to inclusion and action in the service of self and others.[/engine_collapse] [engine_collapse title=”World Class Outcomes” state=””]Standards-based educational outcomes as defined by Douglas County School District and based on Colorado Academic Standards.[/engine_collapse] [engine_collapse title=”Exploratory Blocks (X Blocks)” state=””]Elective courses based around student interests and passions. Students may choose from a large range of academic, athletic, or arts-inspired subjects such as chess, yoga, sculpture, fencing, sports, circus arts, Model United Nations, or archery to name a few.[/engine_collapse] [/engine_collapsibles]