January 24 2013
"How do you approach the huge discrepancies in skill level in the same class to challenge those who need it and help those catch up?" Joey Zocher - Advisor at Escuela Verde
Escuela Verde is a new approach to learning for middle and high school students in Milwaukee. A charter school started by city of Milwaukee, they are the first urban project based school that focuses on sustainability. Modeled after New Country, a school in Minnesota, they ground their learning practices on the EdVisions Project-Based Learning model. Escuels Varde is designed to support students interested in sustainability, stuedent-led learning and restorative justice. Escuela Verde is in its first year of operations.
"We run our school a little different" says Zocher. "We are all advisors, which means we share teaching and administrative duty. We are run by a teaching co-op."
Walking into the school, it was nice to be greeted at the door by a student. He was sweeping up the entrance area that holds a tank with a few large fish. All 64 students learn in one huge room, sectioned off by bookshelves, seating areas and workspaces. Some students were writing grants for their own projects as their writing assignments, others were working on a mural for their arts requirement. They also have daily time allotted for subjects like reading, science and math. Zocher adds, "There's a ton of students who are loving math for the first time and to me, that's really exciting"
I got a moment to talk with students Janessa, Odalis, Yolanda, Jene, Ramsey and Ivan. Even though different reasons brought them to Escuela Verde, they all agree, it was a great move.
To learn more about Escuela Verde, take a tour or volunteer your time, check out their website at www.escuelaverde.com.