We break up learning into challenging but attainable goals, punctuated by blocks, build weeks, and symposia.
We divide the school year into five units, each lasting six weeks. This helps us define learning goals that are challenging yet attainable, and it shows students how to break down larger problems into manageable pieces.
For mathematical sciences, an entire semester of learning happens within a single block, giving students five semesters of math instruction each year. Our core morning courses span the entire year. With projects, writing prompts, and learning goals shifting every six weeks, our block system shapes these year-long courses as well.
Build Weeks bridge one block to the next and help create a unique learning environment. These weeks transition us from studying subjects to making connections between disciplines. They open up our schedule and allow us to dive into activities that help us grow intellectually, socially, and ethically.
We have math bursts to work on open problems, engineering sessions to build hovercrafts and fog machines, and time to go on all-day field trips to places like the California Academy of Science. Each year, the entire school devotes one Build Week to kindness, community, and service.
During Build Weeks, we advise students to match them to suitable math courses during the next block, ask students to reflect on their own growth and goals, and work on all-school challenges and games to build a sense of community.
Proof School Symposia
At various points throughout the year, we invite our community to come together for presentations of student work. In December, our upper-class students begin showcasing their independent studies and projects. The entire school participates in a math symposium in the second half of the year that is equal parts research, problem solving, and multi-modal communication skills. We conclude the school year with an event featuring student work from our morning courses.