Here are some projects students have completed throughout their school year. The link to the project overview tells you the scope of the project. Under the link you will see the community partners that collaborated with us during the project.
What makes TCS different? At The Community School, we turn learning upside down. Instead of teacher-centered instruction, learning is student-driven. Instead of a six-period day where courses are taught separately, students dive into authentic projects that integrate core subjects. The Community School is affiliated with the New Tech Network, and is the first NTN school in Eastern Washington. There are over 200 NTN schools in 28 states. The New Tech Network model is based on four design pillars:
- Outcomes that Matter - Student outcomes for college, career and civic life readiness
- Teaching that Engages - Project and problem-based approach to instruction
- Culture that Empowers - School-wide culture of empowerment for students and adults
- Technology that Enables - Use of technology for collaboration, access to information, and self-directed learning.
Students who are seeking a unique approach to high school may be ideally suited for The Community School. The day is not divided into one-hour periods of separate subjects. Instead, we use Project Based Learning (PBL) to integrate standards through engaging, inquiry-driven learning experiences.
Our teachers design authentic, rigorous projects that connect to authentic phenomena in the real world. Instead of textbook-driven assignments, chapter or unit assessments, or lecture notes that lead to a future test, our students must utilize the critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration required for deeper learning. Our students develop important oral communication skills through public presentations of their learning. Students who want to drive their learning and develop a growth mindset flourish at TCS.
Our culture is another important aspect at TCS. Anyone who has had an opportunity to visit a New Tech Network School will agree that it “feels” different. Based on the ideas of trust, respect and responsibility, we work closely with our students to create a supportive, professional environment. To create and maintain this environment requires strong relationships plus commitment from staff and students alike.
Project-based learning (PBL) is at the heart of our instructional approach. With project-based learning, students aren’t just assessed on their understanding of academic content, but on their ability to successfully apply that content when solving authentic problems. Using New Tech Network’s five school-wide learning outcomes, project-based learning cultivates the skills and attributes required for college and career success in today’s world.
Integrated projects combine core subjects through projects that connect to the community and the real world. During integrated blocks, students collaborate in teams on meaningful projects that require critical thinking, creativity, and communication in order for them to answer challenging questions or solve complex problems. By making learning relevant to them in this way, students see a purpose for mastering state-required skills and content concepts.
Independent projects are designed around interest areas and are driven by each student’s personal passions, career options, and curiosity to learn deeply. As with integrated projects, independent projects are often connected beyond the walls of the school. Independent projects may involve interviews, job shadows, internships, college classes and other individual pursuits.
Team teaching allows teachers to integrate their respective curriculums to enhance the power of PBL. Students are given a project with an end-goal in mind, and are provided workshops, tutorials, and other scaffolding which they apply toward completion of their final product.