Pathways High has built in additional opportunities to ensure deep and meaningful enrichment and intervention of both academic interests and EMPOWER traits.
Problem Based Learning
Project Based Learning (PBL) is an approach to learning, largely based off of Adria Steinberg’s “6 A’s of Project Based Learning” where students engage in projects that are linked to core academic skills and content. Authenticity, academic rigor, applied learning, active exploration, adult relationships and assessment are essential components in the design of projects. These teacher created interdisciplinary projects guided by student and/or teacher interest and business partner real world needs connect learning to students in a relevant way. In order to complete a project and create a product, students must learn core content and skills. Structured and scaffolded instruction facilitated by teachers teaching the necessary content and skills and further deepened by student led research ensure rigor and the needed skills to complete tasks. One of the distinctive features of PBL is the intentional development of relationships with adults through mentorship as well as through public exhibitions and assessments of completed works. EMPOWER traits will be targeted and supported for the development of each student as well as the whole group based on individual student’s Personalized Learning Plans (PLPs) and overall project design. All projects reinforce traits through applied use. Major components of PBL as it will be implemented within the Pathways High model are explained below and support our culture of Trust, Interconnectedness, Development of the whole student and Excellence.
Pathways High believes the heart and mind are closely connected. Habits formed over a lifetime may not be the best skills to handle many of life’s situations. Pathways High will directly teach life skills, yet give many opportunities to hone them in unique environments. Peer to peer support and influence is a vital component of adolescent development. Advisory has been intentionally structured as a multi-aged group that will remain static over the duration of the student at Pathways High, allowing for the addition of new students and loss of graduates. This will allow students time to build community, interact in support of each other and positively influence each other’s lives. Pathways High Advisory program emphasizes student support, community building, personalization, college & career readiness, and health and wellness.
During IMPACT experiences students are utilizing and developing their interests and strengths in order to make an impact on their own needs, those of the school and those of the community through service projects. These experiences allow students to connect to material and EMPOWER traits in varied environments creating deeper connections to material as well as peers and adult mentors.
Four Unique IMPACT Program Experiences
During IMPACT experiences students are utilizing and developing their interests and strengths in order to make an impact on their own needs, those of the school and those of the community through service projects.
Just like students entering Pathways High need a bridge to help them transition to high school, we believe strongly that an additional year at Pathways High will provide the transition support needed by many to bridge their entrance into the post-secondary world.
Students have the opportunity to design their fifth year that will be known as their IMPACT year. Working with the IMPACT/Career &College Ready Coordinators and other faculty as deemed appropriate, the student will choose experiences unique to their interests and talents that will IMPACT themselves and their community while still completing graduation requirements. Goals will be developed in collaboration with all stakeholders and will be built into our project management system, Project Foundry, to ensure experiences have measurable learning goals, like all projects at Pathways High. More importantly, the IMPACT year supports students as they transition into full responsibility for their learning through coaching and mentoring. Frequent required written reflections, Project Foundry progress, regular meetings between the IMPACT/C&CR Coordinator with students, (video conferenced if the student is travelling) will provide multiple opportunities for Pathways High to ensure growth and learning is continuing in any environment. Supporting students who are taking a course or courses at post-secondary institutions will include coaching them to successfully navigate the bureaucratic institution, handling time management within a more flexible environment, learning and managing the expectations of a traditional academic course. Supporting students in internships or apprenticeships will include problem solving roadblocks and mapping out next steps. At the end of this IMPACT Year, students present work representing their IMPACT experience to the Pathways High community. This will include an overview of why the pathway was decided upon, how it was designed, what occurred through the implementation, reflections on results and next steps. The final form of these presentations could occur in a multitude of ways, based on student choice. Evidence from the experience(s) should be included. Coordination of the community presentation will be under the guidance of the IMPACT/C&CR Coordinator.