William Smith High School Assistant Principal David Roll and Development Director Lauren Victor will present the school's unique intensives program at the upcoming Expeditionary Learning National Conference. The conference – which will be held in Portland, Oregon in March – showcases schools that have successfully implemented various aspects of expeditionary learning in their curriculum, instruction style and culture.
Each year, Expeditionary Learning – an Outward Bound organization that helps schools implement the EL model – asks faculty at more than 175 schools to send proposals for conference presentations. Victor and Roll were selected to present on William Smith's intensives. Intensives are courses where students spend a long period of time – for example, one or two weeks – focusing on in-depth, hands-on learning in a single subject.
“Intensives at William Smith provide students with engaging, one-week opportunities to make connections between their learning and authentic applications of learning outside of the classroom.” - William Smith Assistant Principal David Roll.
Examples of topics for intensives at William Smith have included, but have not been limited to:
- Documentary Film Production
- Colorado River Rafting
- Community Service
- The Paranormal World
- Culinary Arts
- Moab Biking
- The Psychology of Dreams
- Theater Productions
According to William Smith Principal Jane Shirley, school staff are seeing the direct impact the expeditionary learning model has on student achievement.
“When students get involved in a project that has social impact, or they wrestle with real, hard questions, their thinking gets pushed, and their skills improve. They work at a different level.” – William Smith Principal Jane Shirley