Project-Based Learning Helps At-Risk Students
Curriculum engaging those who struggled in regular school setting
Tom Horn points down at several rows of winter vegetables in planter boxes.
"We already harvested three and a half tons of food for the community from this garden," says the principal of Al Kennedy, an alternative public high school in Cottage Grove, Ore., 130 miles south of Portland. He gestures to the neglected soccer field beyond. "But pretty soon, the garden will extend all the way out there."
That emphasis on beyond-the-classroom learning appears to be working. The attendance rate at the 100-student high school, formerly called Al Kennedy Alternative School but now referred to by students and staff members as the Kennedy School of Sustainability, has jumped from 23 percent in fall 2006, when Mr. Horn took over, to about 90 percent. The dropout rate is now at 12.5 percent, down from...
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