Castle Artfully Celebrates Its Small Learning Communities
Surprising things happen when a large school tries to shrink itself to the level where students can be nurtured by adults who know them well.
Castle High School extends its Small Learning Communities to all of its 1,200-plus students, organizing them by grades and/or academic and career interests, and learning styles.
Real-world relevance and high academic standards are the goals.
Along the way this school year, students in one integrated Arts SLC project transformed an abandoned campus storage garage into a safe, creative place and permanent art gallery.
Together they showcased their initial projects for the faculty on a “sharing day” featuring work fashioned on a “Tolerance” theme. The teens’ creations were spread throughout the gallery space and cafeteria.
To kick off a three-month arts project this semester, the arts teachers and students filled Ron Bright Theatre to tackle an equally important topic: “Resilience.” Speakers, videos and performers all shared the stage to send a message of “digging deeper” to seek supportive people, healthy places and a positive perspective.
During that January launch, marine science teacher Roy Huff read a poem that spoke of overcoming hardship. Castle alumna Kelly Chang shared her research on resilience among the poor in Nicaragua, as well as her journey from CHS student to professor of psychology at George Fox University in Oregon. CPAC alumnus Gino Luciano recounted his struggle from high school drop-out to finding his voice and graduating from college with honors. Keeping it lively were spoken-word talents from Pacific Tongues.
Castle’s small-group approach also offers “academies” that nurture performing arts, medicine, agriculture, business and culinary interests.
Partners from the community always are welcome.