George Lucas Educational Foundation

January Term

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I am helping our small rural high school to launch an innovative platform for PBL: a January Term! Our students will complete their first semester studies before Winter Break. When they return in January, their school will be transformed into a PBL learning center for three weeks. Each student will be enrolled in only ONE course for the three week period, culminating in a school wide celebration of learning with the town invited to see the work of our students. Our hope is that January Term will provide extended learning time, small class sizes, and a flexible curriculum (still aligned to stnadards, of course). We are very, very new to PBL in our district. What wisdom could you share with me in April 2011 that I will be thankful to know in January 2012??

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Nicole Wolf-Camplin's picture
Nicole Wolf-Camplin
Academic Dean - Scattergood Friends School

We are a small rural private boarding high school that is doing the same thing in May 2012-- though our current thinking is two classes instead of one during the 3 weeks. We have a planning and implementation timeline, and have drafted criteria for our classes. Teachers have brainstormed class topics and students have helped us design our weekly schedule. We are in the process of assigning staff responsibilities and curricula. I have recently placed a call to the state university to see if there is interest there in helping kick of some professional development and am planning the timing of that to reach through the 2011-12 school year. I would love to further this conversation.

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