Is the Sustainability Workshop a school?
Not yet. We are an alternative senior year program. Students remain enrolled in their home high schools, and many continue to participate in extracurricular activities in those schools. But they spend the school day with us. Our plan is to begin the transition to being a full high school in 2013.
Where do your students come from?
Our 28 students are drawn from three comprehensive high schools: Furness High School, South Philadelphia High School, and West Philadelphia High School.
How are students selected?
To enroll with us, students have to be on track to graduate at the beginning of their senior year. In other words, they would be able to graduate if they took a normal course load at their home high schools. And of course, participation is voluntary. Students choose to enroll with us.
What curriculum do you use?
We don’t have a packaged curriculum. For the most part, our students work on projects that are of interest to them and that focus on real-world problems. Learning in traditional subject areas such as math, science, and technology takes place in the context of these projects. For more information, see Student Projects.
How do students earn credit for project work?
We use a program called Project Foundry to design our projects. The software allows us to identify learning targets for each student project, and set criteria for successful completion of those projects. It also lets us determine the amount and type of credit that will be earned for each project. Students upload their completed work, and when we all agree that it has met the criteria established, they receive the allotted credit.
How is the Sustainability Workshop funded?
While we serve students from the School District of Philadelphia, we are not a district-funded program. The Barra Foundation and the Greater Philadelphia Innovation Cluster (GPIC) are our primary sponsors, but many individuals and organizations have been instrumental in supporting us. For more information, see Support the Workshop.