All curriculum, courses, and student experiences at School Without Walls are planned, developed, and implemented with the clear intention of helping students become self-sufficient lifelong learners.
The following vision was developed by the student body and faculty in 2006.
At School Without Walls,
We're tearing down the walls that limit learning, brick by brick,
and building up the foundations of success, person by person.
We're developing the personal and academic skills we need to be lifelong explorers,
learners, and problem solvers.
We're creating innovative classes that reflect students, interests, combine subjects and connect
us to the city and its resources.
We’re establishing supportive, meaningful, personalized relationships among
all members of the school community.
We’re working to improve our communities, living by democratic values and being active citizens.
We’re sharing the power to make decisions that affect our classes and our school.
We’re striking a balance between our individual freedoms and our communities’ needs.
We’re improving our mental and physical health.
We’re becoming responsible, reflective, and self-directed.
We’re strengthening our own unique identities and our understanding of others.
We’re discovering the liberating force of growing towards our dreams by learning without walls.
This is the original Goal Statement created by the founders of School Without Walls.
All curriculum, courses, and student experiences at School Without Walls are planned, developed, and implemented with the clear intention of meeting the below stated goals.
IT IS THE INTENTION OF THE SCHOOL WITHOUT WALLS
I. To Assist Students to Develop Responsibility to Self by:
A.) Providing the flexibility to discover and/or pursue their interests in a wide variety of structures (group, individual, and independent), and by helping them to develop their own educational program through continuous academic counseling in extended class.
B.) Supporting the development of independence by helping students to improve survival skills through the following means:
1.) Academic-information gathering, interpretation, and transmission-computation.
2.) Societal-learning how to operate within the institutional framework of our society, i.e. family, neighborhood.
3.) Interpersonal- learning how to effectively communicate ideas and feelings with others.
C.) Leading students to become self-sustaining by turning problems into goals and by developing the ability to identiffy the dimensions of a problem and engage in the problem solving learning process, i.e.
1.) Identify the existence of a problem.
2.) Examine options.
3.) Survey the available resources.
4.) Define the problem.
5.) Identify the usable resources: material and human
6.) Modify the defintion of the problem in terms of available usable resources.
7.) Collect and interpret data.
8.) Draw conclusions.
9.) Evaluate significance of conclusions.
10.) Apply results practically where possible.
D.) Helping students to cope with frustration by selecting alternatives when things don't go as they wanted-encouraging them to see failure is a good starting place-it is not an end.
E.) Facilitating the clarification and understanding by students of their value systems.
1.) Help them to see how these values affect their decisions and choices.
2.) Foster the development of thoughtful, responsible value systems for themselves.
3.) Explore other value systems.
II. To Aid Students to Understand How to Live in a Complex Urban Society
A.) To lead students to discover the relationship between experience in living and school learning by:
1.) Using an interdisciplinary problem solving approach to learning.
2.) Using student interests as a basis of individual approach to learning.
3.) Using primary sources and direct experiences for learning.
4.) Encouraging students to participate directly in decision making and policy seting in both classes and the school as a whole.
B.) Become responsible and effective members of the community by:
1.) Understanding the nature of a community-that "no man is an island" and that School Without Walls is conceived of as a community whose reason for existence is learning.
2.) Fostering interdependence.
3.) Providing an environment in which sensitivity to the opinion and needs of others becomes a major factor in individual and group interaction and decision making.
4.) Encouraging them to learn how to resolve inter-personal conflicts in socially acceptable ways.
5.) Clarifying the need for participating in group decision making in school and class with particlar emphasis on consequences of not following the group decision.
6.) Striking a balance between his or her responsibility to the community and responsibility to self.
7.) Understanding that indpendence can exist only when such a balance has been struck one is free only in relation to others.
8.) Aiding students to understand their rights and responsibilities.
9.) Emphasizing the city as a basis for a major part of the student's experience by:
a.) Helping students to be aware of resources in the city and how to use them.
b.) Helping students to see themselves as active participants in the life of the city.