Project Based Learning

Jesse Remington High School is pioneering new territory with this innovative program.  Called “Project Based Learning”, the emphasis is on diverse group hands-on projects that complement the curriculum.  It is a model of learning that combines traditional content learning with experiential learning through the use of a carefully designed student project.

A Project is a 6 or more week task, which culminates in a public performance, where students are tasked to complete a piece of a larger whole, and then proceed to build in some multi-dimensional way, a representation of their findings.

At all parts throughout the school year, students are challenged in both their core classes and the quarter project. There is virtually a limitless scope of possibilities within each project, but one element rings true to all: they bring relevance and meaning to the existing curriculum. Skills common to several projects include: time management, scheduling, collaboration, delegation, leadership, decision making, small business management and public speaking. Projects allow for creativity and personal investment and ownership in a way different and more effective than the classroom can create. In sum, they are gaining knowledge and skills that are applicable and relevant to their lives.

A prime example of Project Based Learning is our Timber Framing Project, where students design, draw and construct authentic post and beam buildings for sale. As well as learning the historic trade, students are involved in all phases from design to occupancy. Guests at the Deerfield Fair can see one of our buildings on display.

The fall Humanities Faire is an annual favorite, where students research and recreate an era in history. Role-playing, script writing, set design and construction, are all part of this unique, two day, outdoor faire. One year, a student may be Emperor Charlemagne, Charles Dickens the next, Benedict Arnold the next, and then maybe Michelangelo. Some pretty extraordinary lives to emulate!

The late winter brings about the return of the maple season, and JR students are ready to go! We have a full-scale Maple Business on campus, where students are involved in every aspect of the project, from tapping to selling. Each year students keep the wood firing roaring, as we shoot for our goal of 100 gallons, which can bring in as much as $4,000 for the Spring Mission Trip.

Springtime at JRHS brings music and drama! In April each year, our musical students have done very well at the Annual ACSI Music Festival, consistently ranking high in performance and poise. In May, we host a full scale dramatic or musical production. Recent shows have included: Suessical, Fiddler on the Roof, Godspell, The Taming of the Shrew, Joseph and A Midsummers Night Dream.

Many arts or artisan projects fill the JRHS project curriculum each year. From Creative Writing to Stained Glass to Pottery to Weaving, students learn to appreciate crafting things with their hands. Many of these items are sold, with proceeds going to the mission trips.

Articulate speech is a skill all students at JRHS are tasked to master. The annual Poetry Recitation is the first opportunity in the year for students to stand and deliver. Next comes the Policy Debate, where students role-play real-world options in current geo-political issues. Flowing out of these options is the Mock Trial, a student’s opportunity to learn prosecution or defense skills.

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