design your own education

we are a democratic school

Our Progressive program starts with the fundamental belief that students should be in control of their education. That doesn’t mean just making decisions about what courses to take or what projects to work on. As a democratic school, students decide how the school runs. They propose and pass the laws, they choose where to invest the school’s resources, and they help the school maintain an environment of communal respect. At LiHigh, students don’t just come to school; they create the school.

we are an interest-based school

Study after study shows that student interest is the primary driver of student learning. One writer summarized the research by saying that “interest can help us think more clearly, understand more deeply, and remember more accurately. Interest has the power to transform struggling performers, and to lift high achievers to a new plane.”

At LiHigh, every student is in charge of their own Learning Plan. With the help of their advisors and mentors, students discover their interests, create classes around those interests, and pursue them in a real-world setting through relevant internships and hands-on projects.

Students have the support of skilled and qualified adults who have no agenda to push other than to support their students.

how the progressive program works

All of our students — regardless of which program they’re in — demonstrate their ability to communicate, to chase after the truth like a scientist, to use numbers to support their arguments, to engage their interest-areas in a deep and broad way by looking at the social context of their ideas, and to improve their social-emotional skills to better connect with their peers, mentors, and the wider community.

To achieve these skills, students entering Phase One of the Progressive program learn basic skills to become an independent learner. You’ll answer questions such as “Who am I now and who do I want to be?,” “What activities make me feel most alive?,” and “What are my strengths and challenges as a learner?” Using your answers to those fundamental questions, you’ll build a personalized learning plan based on your interests and passions.

In Phase Two, students apply their newfound skills in a real-world context through internships, job shadowing, and community-mentor led projects. If you’re interested in animals, perhaps you’ll have an internship with a local veterinarian. If you’re passionate about movies, maybe you’ll shadow a professional film editor for a day. If you’re interested in mountain biking, maybe you’ll hook up with a regional nonprofit to design and carve trails through a local forest. Regardless, you’ll take your learning outside the context of the classroom to develop your knowledge and skills in a more authentic way.

In Phase Threestudents make the world a better place through a senior capstone project that addresses their passions and interests and involves the coordination of adults and/or organizations outside of the school. The capstone gives students the opportunity to manage a complex, real-world-based project from start to finish, and to do so by networking and coordinating with adults outside of their comfort zone, creating a record of success that the student can look back on after they graduate from school.

Students who successfully complete Phase Three receive a state-approved high-school diploma.

For more information, contact us today!