We started with this model when we founded the school, and we have been working to strengthen it as we go.
Many of our students come from traditional schools, where much of the learning is teacher-directed. We want to provide students with more agency and choice. With that comes the challenge of helping students design and complete work in a timely fashion. Our staff takes as a guiding question: How can we support students as they transition from a traditional educational model to a real-world learning model? We have worked to overcome this challenge by establishing routines and supports for students. We aim to meet students where they are and grow their autonomy: allowing self-directed students to excel on self-determined paths and supporting less autonomous students as they work to direct their learning.
Make sure that you have systems and structures in place at the beginning and that you're not figuring that out as you go. This can create frustration and get in the way of students owning their learning.
Real-world learning is one of the most significant strengths of our school. We have a program where students are outside the school building doing internships two days a week. Additionally, we are very proud of helping students drive their own learning and create relevant, authentic learning experiences for their own lives.
Gibson Ek High School is a small innovative high school where students' interests, passions, and talents drive the learning. Gibson Ek students chase after their curiosities through rigorous interest-based learning and real-world internships. Gibson Ek follows a non-traditional learning model: Students earn academic competencies through projects rather than earning grades through courses, and students connect with mentors in the real world through internships two days a week.
Contact: David Berg
Gibson Ek High School
98027 United States