Central to the practice of Project-Based Learning is the use of community partners, persons outside of the classroom, to interact with students through the completion of a project. The use of such adult connections has many proven benefits for students. When these connections are leveraged effectively, students demonstrate an elevated level of engagement, commitment to quality work, attendance, and motivation. We talk a lot about thinking beyond the guest speaker; while these interactions are still positive, the best use of community partners serves a larger role in a project.
At any given time, students at CSA Central could have four different projects happening at the same time, two for 7th grade and two for 8th grade. Our goal is to create authentic projects that benefit the community. We have taken on the project-based learning philosophy in our classrooms and are developing a culture where students understand that they are part of a community, both at school and at home.