Last year's trip to Costa Rica showed us that education can, and should, be a life-altering experience. This year, a largely new group of students, have decided to learn about and travel to Puerto Rico. With this new topic and destination in mind, we have developed a year-long interdisciplinary class that is based on the same three core principles:

1) Travel to expand students' horizons
2) An explicit connection between the classroom and real world
3) The use of sweat equity for students to see that their efforts can make a difference

During the early fall, the curriculum was largely focused on developing the 21st Century Skills of problem solving, critical thinking, decision-making, and collaboration. This was initially done using group challenges in the classroom, but then became vitally important once we started raking lawns. In addition to being our major fundraiser, this hard work put students in positions that required group problem solving, as well as perseverance and responsibility – traits that we all know are central to changing the trajectory of their lives.

During the winter and spring, each student will be developing an independent research project on a chosen aspect of Puerto Rico.
We hope that you will keep checking back as we share our learning, growth and adventures.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Overcoming My Anxiety

Twenty four hours from now, we'll be in Puerto Rico!  Woohoo!  It feels so rewarding after all the hard work we have done.  It sounds strange, but over this last week--as the date of the trip got closer and closer--it felt as though it was even further away than it was months ago.  These last few days leading up to it have been the hardest for me.  It takes me back to when I was really little and how, on Christmas Eve or the night before my birthday, I would get so racked with excitement and anticipation that going to sleep felt like the hardest thing in the world.  Now that I'm older, those feelings, for the most part, have not changed.  The only thing that is different is that now, in addition to excitement and anticipation, I am also experiencing slight trepidation.  I am a worrier.  But I am glad that I feel comfortable enough with the group of people I'll be with that I am able to face my fears and not let my anxiety hold me back, or keep me from experiencing all that Puerto Rico has to offer.  And so, I have used that mentality to create my very own mantra for the trip:
"Nothing--no illness, injury, worry, homesickness, or fear--is going to keep me from enjoying myself and having a good--no, a GREAT--time on this trip." Phew! There...now I've said it, it's official!  I will do my very best to remember what I just said, even if I get a little overwhelmed.  Because, honestly, a trip like this happens once in a lifetime, and if I don't let my guard down and enjoy myself, I will regret it forever.  Whatever fears or anxieties I might encounter are only temporary and will be forgotten quickly, whereas the possible memories I am gaining from this trip will last a lifetime.  If I had to choose between being scared for a while or reminiscing forever, I choose the latter.  No contest.
Hello people of this universe and others it is such a beautiful day out today. i cant wait 14 hours until we are on our way to logan airport. Im pumped and so is everyone else. in 24 hours we will be in San Juan Puerto Rico. soo exited this is going to be the best week of my life i hope everyone has a good weekend and week ill post when i get back... :]


I can't believe that we are going to Puerto Rico tonight. It feels like the last time I looked at our count down calendar we were 50 days away. I'm so excited and the rest of the class feels the same, though I am not too excited about the time (We leave for Boston at 2am.) It will be such a wonderful experience to be able to travel with the entire class, and get to go through all we will do with my classmates. I graduate on June 1st, so this is pretty much my last hoorah for my highschool career. I couldn't think of a better way to end my year.