I was recently introduced to Challenge Success, which is an organization that works with schools to help create balance and academic fulfillment for students. One of their cornerstones is based on the notion that students need SPACE to learn. SPACE is an acronym for five practices that can help change a student’s experience of school:
S – Students’ use of time
P – Project-based learning
A – Alternative and authentic assessments
C – Climate of care
E – Educate parents, students and faculty
It is worth viewing the recommended SPACE policies and ideas that can positively influence a student’s experience of high school.
Interestingly, I have been advocating for these same principles (minus the fancy acronym!) and planning for many of the recommendations for the new high school. It is rewarding to see how our efforts are aligning with recommendations from the research base for school success.
Of particular interest is focus “C” on developing a caring community for students in which they feel safe and appropriately challenged to learn. This is so central to our plans for the new school, as it is in a community-based learning environment that discipleship and student development can occur. Our high school students need community and a caring advising system in which teachers will get to know their students in order to help them succeed academically We don’t believe that a fully online, virtual high school will lead to the type of academic and personal growth that we desire for our high school graduates. We remain committed to the deliberate blending of on-campus learning experiences and positive relationships with the best that online learning options may offer for high school studies.
See also – Why kids need schools to change