Utah Self-Directed Education
I am looking for a team to help me propose a secondary school (ages 12-18) in the South Valley of Salt Lake County. The initial inception of the school came from me (Lexi), and I need other people to give their input and perspectives before we can really get going on the planning. Here is the basic idea of the school:
The school is a jointly operated entity, one part public charter school and one part private school.
Families will choose which diploma track they would like to enroll in, the state diploma or the self directed diploma. The state diploma is awarded by the USBE, has credit requirements to complete, and has free and open enrollment. The self directed diploma is awarded by the school itself, has a thesis requirement to complete, and has open enrollment with tuition. Students in both diploma tracks will learn and socialize together in the same facilities, and for the most part, students will not be able to tell which of their peers has chosen each diploma track.
The classes offered are interdisciplinary, meaning students will learn science, social studies, language arts, and math all in the same class, which is organized around a theme that encompasses these curriculum areas. Teachers work collaboratively to develop engaging and relevant content, while creatively assessing students in ways that are non-threatening and non-competitive.
The daily schedule and calendar are designed for teenagers with their specific needs in mind. For example, the school day begins at 10am, allowing for the changing biological sleep needs of adolescents. The policies are purposeful and compassionate; for example, students are encouraged take mental health days off, menstruating students are allowed an extra day off per cycle, and restorative justice is the method of discipline.
Community is just as important as academics. Students are organized in small groups that meet every day, and individuals are more likely to be seen, heard, and supported. Extracurricular events and activities are oriented towards building friendships and community, such as a week long camping trip with outdoor activities and challenges, national and international expeditions, and an overnight stay in a cabin in the mountains. Community building is essential to maintaining a safe and welcoming school environment.
If any of this resonates with you, fill out the form to the right and join a focus group! We'll be discussing needs in the community and you can give feedback and additional ideas on this new school. There will be snacks provided!