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Intensives Are Powerful Learning

Intensives provide a platform for our students to deepen their mastery of a topic, design a direction, and figure out solutions to authentic real-world problems.
 

Matt Levinson, Head of School

When we started Senior Launchpad two years ago, we quickly realized that our students were quite adept at moving from point A to point B to point C to point D, as they had demonstrated success within a daily school schedule and curriculum for almost seven years. However, we learned that our students were less equipped to figure out how to get to point D on their own. The demands of getting their Launchpad projects ready required them to plan ahead, write emails, make phone calls, and come up with a student designed, self-directed project. And once their projects commenced, our students had to learn how to navigate a new environment, demonstrate initiative, and figure out how to work when directions were not immediately provided.

Now, having put Intensives in place across the entire school, our students will start to learn these “soft” skills from their earliest age to their culminating learning experience. Calling the skills stated above “soft” is quite a misnomer, as they proved to be quite hard for our students to master.

Intensives provide a platform for our students to deepen their mastery of a topic, design a direction, and figure out solutions to authentic real-world problems.

This recent article in the Los Angeles Times, How To Make High School Better For Students, highlights many of the benefits of a program like Intensives. In particular, this part of the article stood out to me: “Powerful learning — not only in school, but also in life — occurs when learners are trying to produce or do something consequential, when they see the purpose in what they are doing, when they have some choice about what they learn, when they are receiving regular feedback on their work, and when they are part of a community that supports them but also holds them to high standards.”

We look forward to hearing the many wonderful stories of engagement as our students bring their learning to conclusion for the 2018-2019 school year with Intensives. Follow our senior LaunchPad projects on Instagram via the hashtag #upreplaunchpad.



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