Changemaker High School’s academic program integrates interdisciplinary, project-based learning with the best practices in youth leadership development to provide a challenging and meaningful college prep experience.
All Changemaker High School students prepare for post-secondary education by taking a rigorous core curriculum that fulfills the entrance requirements of Arizona’s 4-year colleges and universities. In addition, all students prepare for standardized tests including AzMERIT and the SAT or ACT college entrance exams.
Project-based learning is hands-on and action-oriented. Done well, it challenges students to learn in depth and apply their knowledge to achieve goals that are meaningful to them. This means our curriculum is MORE challenging and rigorous than the “normal” high school where students memorize facts to pass multiple-choice exams—and write essays that only their teachers will read. Fortunately, project-based learning is also MORE motivating and fulfilling. When students learn in action through meaningful experiences, they remember and value what they learn. Authentic performance assessments also help students learn, i.e. digital portfolios, presentations of learning, and major public exhibitions of student work.
Individual Learning Plans
Each student works with an advisor, teachers, and parents to develop an Individual Learning Plan. ILPs contain academic, leadership, college, and career goals that allow the student and his/her support team to monitor progress and celebrate achievements. Teachers use differentiated instruction to ensure that each student is being challenged at the appropriate level. Projects and electives provide students with opportunities to develop their interests and talents and practice their leadership skills. Students with special needs receive additional individual attention in a full-inclusion setting.
Tutoring, study skills programs, and focused intensive classes are available for all students to boost their language arts and/or math skills. In Advisory Crew, each student meets once/week with a group of peers and a faculty advisory for academic and personal support. Students also meet individually with their advisor, as well as in Student-Parent-Teacher meetings each semester, where students discuss their work and create an academic plan for the coming semester. Students’ advisor monitors the students’ development and communicates regularly with each student’s family.
Upper Division Courses
After passing the 10th grade standardized tests, 11th and 12th grade students take two years of Spanish. In their junior year, students receive coaching to prepare for college entrance SAT tests. They also meet with their advisor for assistance with college choices and applications. In their senior year, students complete a well-structured senior project. Students choose either calculus/physics or statistics /social science, depending on their college major and career aspirations.
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