Community service is a core value in our school relating to the name we proudly carry of Eleanor Roosevelt. While classroom time is devoted to community service through our Advisory program, students are still floundering a bit in the completion of this requirement. There are some who have meaningful experiences and some who do not. Students are not aware of the most positive and exciting things that are happening relating to community service across the grades and how students' lives have potentially been changed by this service.
What are students doing for community service and how do they make changes or grow their experiences?
While our school has many innovative elements (online course work, flexible scheduling, field experience requirements, multidisciplinary course focus...), much of what we speak of - in the way of projects/activities - are in the past or fictional, rather than a present and pressing challenge. It seems to be a challenge to make the classroom task address material that is immediate to the student's time and place. The engagement of student skills to real-world problems that have some consequence.Not only on a singular basis, but as a regular practice for course design.
How do we design our courses to integrate seamlessly with current and pressing issues and challenges that are in evidence to our students?
As a large high school (and one that contains a large number of ELLs and students with IEPs), it is often difficult to make sure that our students don't slip through the cracks or get lost in the shuffle as they navigate their way toward graduation. Teachers often feel frustrated with the motivation and work ethic of their students. Students--especially those who are behind in their credit accumulation--are unclear on what they need to do to catch up.
How do teachers ensure that all students have specific, individualized goals set towards their academic progress in both the short and long terms, and that these goals are aligned with the school's curriculum?