Freedom to Design Your Own Path
Students have the freedom to design their own path at LSG.
For example, high school students can take two English, History, Foreign Language, or Math classes concurrently. They can select standard load or high load classes, depending on how much reading and heavy intellectual lifting they want to do.
Additionally, each semester we survey students about new courses that the students design or select. These course range from Graphic Novel to Arc of Justice to Philosophy of Resilience.
Finally, we have projects in 8th, 10th, 11th, and 12th grade that allow students to study subjects that are important to them, to continue to work on those subjects over a number of years, and to try out new areas of study and possible professional directions before entering college.
Here is a quick outline of these projects:
- RESEARCH AND COLLABORATION: Eighth Grade Project
This project is the capstone to our middle school program, transitioning students to the depth, independence, and outward-facing characteristics of our high school courses. Students work for one semester, collaborating on a single extended project that involves working with individuals outside of school to accomplish a specific goal. At the conclusion of the course, they formally present the class project and its implications to the school community.
- INVESTIGATION AND OUTREACH: Tenth Grade Research Seminar
The tenth-grade milestone builds on the skills acquired in eighth grade, requiring greater independence and self-direction and offering direct instruction in more sophisticated research methodologies. Students work for one semester on an extended independent project that involves working with individuals outside of school to accomplish a specific goal. The class meets together regularly for instruction and feedback, but students independently design and execute their research project. At the conclusion of the course, they formally present their individual findings to the school community.
- PERSONAL GOALS AND DEEP STUDY: Eleventh Grade Individual Study (Optional)
In eleventh grade, students have the opportunity to earn one to two credits for individual deep academic study. To earn credit, they must prepare and successfully defend an original proposal to a panel of faculty and then fulfill the conditions of that proposal. Based on the college model, this course requires the student to design the rationale, reading list, timetable, and final product, which will become part of their high school portfolio. Regular one-on-one meetings with a faculty mentor support student learning and accountability. Students are encouraged to select topics that could contribute to their senior research and practicum.
- PROFESSIONAL READINESS AND LEADERSHIP: Senior Research and Practicum
This year-long senior practicum is an opportunity to explore a subject deeply within real-world contexts. The goal is to learn how professionals practice a discipline the student might pursue in college. Faculty mentors provide guidance on the project and identify opportunities for relevant experiences outside of school. Students may work in a co-working space in Washington, D.C., for access to a larger pool of research and internship prospects. Before graduation, students present their findings to the school community and are required to have at least one outside expert on their review panel.