Most of our brilliant students are first and second generation immigrants, primarily from Mexico and Central America (we also have significant Asian and African-American populations). The mission of our school is to provide an excellent public education to students in order to expand their life choices.
We provide our students with a rigorous academic experience focused on Health and BioScience.
We are committed to providing authentic learning experiences through project-based learning, field trips, and extensive health and science internship programs.
We require students at all grade levels (beginning in sixth grade) to take part in high-stakes public presentations modeled on thesis defenses, but we also spend time reflecting on and celebrating our learning. All of these ambitious projects require strong literacy skills, and that's where my class come in. I work with students who are reading below grade level, in an extra class designed to boost their independent reading skills.
In addition to rigorous, hands-on academic experiences, another unique aspect of our school is post-session. While we push kids academically throughout the school year, we use the two weeks after Memorial Day to take kids on amazing field trips and to expose them to new opportunities and challenges.
In the past, students have gone surfing, biked over 500 miles, gone on multi-night backpacking trips, taken yoga classes, learned how to identify edible plants, and learned how to play instruments and make music!
All of these programs are funded from a bare bones budget and donations. Over 90% of our students live in poverty, so they contribute very little to the expenses.
Our school was lucky enough to get a grant to study marine ecology at Fort Ross State Park, but we need to cover costs of food, as we will be camping overnight, as well as part of the transportation costs. This project allows us to bring all our seventh graders to the beautiful Atlantic coast to study marine mammals, tide pools, and the tides. We will also spend time reflecting on our progress and making goals for 8th grade. What a triumphant way to end a big year!
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