Our curriculum is incredibly demanding in that it requires students to dive deeply into relevant topics, study complex ideas from multiple perspectives, and produce work that matters to an audience beyond the school walls.
Students are not passive recipients in the classrooms at PoDS. Our goal is not only to engage students in lessons, but to empower them so that they are leaders of their own education. In practice this means that:
- Our classrooms are busy. Students are often moving around, completing tasks independently, collaborating with other students, and participating in discussions.
- We think of our teachers as “Success Coaches,” whose job is to guide and mentor students as they work towards proficiency in their academic classes.
- Students track their own progress towards proficiency on essential learning targets.
- Students lead their own parent-teacher conferences, sharing their best work, discussing their academic progress, analyzing their strengths and areas for growth, and setting goals for the future.
- Our students read and write. A lot. But, the reading and writing that students do is in service of the learning that is required for them to create world-class products for culminating events.
The academic results of our approach speak for themselves. Students who have been with us for multiple years are performing ahead of state averages in all subject areas and on par with, or ahead of, district averages in all subject areas.