Legend’s newest program offers freshmen the opportunity to explore their first year of high school in a unique “classroom” experience.
By Tara Higgins
When registering for classes for the upcoming 2016-2017 school year, a few students may have noticed the addition of a new program called EDGE. Since the program is only open to the incoming Class of 2020, many upperclassmen did not get to learn much about it. We spoke with Dan Simington to get to know EDGE a little better.
What is EDGE?
EDGE stands for Engage, Discover, Grow, Empower. It is a personalized learning program for the incoming class of 2020. The experience is far from traditional, offering real-world and hands-on learning as opposed to the typical classroom bell schedule.
What does the typical EDGE student look like?
EDGE students are independent and motivated learners who are interested in going beyond the classroom to engage in a field-specific curriculum. They will prepare for college by pursuing their passions.
Are there required classes for EDGE?
There will be 5 required classes for each student: each of the 4 core subjects (math, science, English, and social studies), as well as one technology class. They will also take Spanish, although they may choose to take French or Chinese as an elective.
How is the program personalized to each student?
Learning will be personalized through project-based curriculum and memorable experiences. The projects will be broadly designed so each student may incorporate content specific to their learning. Those who are more interested in technology or engineering will focus their projects on that, while still including elements of their core classes. Internships may become a bigger focus for some students, as well as working hands-on with businesses, and team building and expeditionary learning – including field trips – will be part of the specialized curriculum. The program is personalized to each student while at the same time incorporating real-world experience.
What does a typical day in the EDGE program look like?
There is no “typical” day for any one student, with a more open schedule not bound by the traditional bells that ring every 50 minutes on a daily basis. The first 30 minutes will include “family time,” a structured group time with the teachers, mentors, and possible guest speakers. Workshops for the core classes (different levels will be offered, such as Algebra I versus Geometry and so on), with students being responsible for scheduling these around their pre-scheduled electives each week.
How many teachers are a part of EDGE?
12 teachers will be a part of EDGE as a whole, with 6 launching the program for the 2016-2017 school year, and the remaining 6 coming in the year after.
Why was the program created, and what does Legend hope to accomplish?
With many students following certain pathways, whether that be AVID or honors/AP, Legend wanted to offer students a new, unique pathway that would offer them more freedom based on each student’s passions. It is a more career-based pathway that will expose students to the real world unlike any other traditional classroom experience. Legend believes in setting everyone up for success after high school by meeting individual learning needs, and EDGE hopes to accomplish just that.
Can anyone apply?
Each year, the incoming freshman class will be invited to apply for EDGE. The program is not open to any current freshmen, sophomores, or juniors. Legend hopes to enroll 125 students of the class of 2020, and grow the program to include more students each year.