Integrated studies involve connecting typically disconnected subjects so that students can arrive at a more meaningful and authentic understanding. Rather than continue to teach subjects (mathematics, English language arts (ELA) social studies & science) in disconnected isolation based on schedules that divide learning into 50-minute chunks, our curriculum endeavors for students to tackle real-world challenges, leading to deeper understanding of core content. A hallmark of integrated studies is student voice & choice. Content is balanced between student interest and content standards. Students are given choice to share their learning via multiple pathways. While integrated studies looks very different this year, your student will still be engaging in content that is intentionally connected across disciplines, whether it is an art project with Ms. Bailey that connects to the 2020 election, or a geography investigation with Ms. Okrant and Cliff that connects to our scientific explorations outdoors this year. We truly believe that the key to life long learning lies in engaging and interconnected studies. While remote and hybrid learning pose a challenge with this model in the 2020-2021 school year, it will remain part of our practice for some of our units throughout our three trimesters.
Our major units of study in past years have included:
- Community Fair, A Student Designed Launch Celebration (link is for photos folder)
- Whose Place is This?
- Adapt or Perish!
- Systems Overload.
- Food for Thought.
Example Unit: Spring 2018 Minerals Unit
Geologist Dr. John Van Hoesen speaks with the students about rocks and minerals in VT.
Just one example of some of the work that students complete in integrated studies, last spring, students worked on their minerals projects in integrated studies. Our work began with a rotating selection of non-negotiable workshops following choice workshops and work sessions co-created and organized by one of our amazing student leadership committees. Students explored resources for this unit on the Live Binder that Ms. Perry created using resources compiled by students and teachers.