In this year’s Coding element of the Co-Edge, sophomore students will jump right in by learning the basics of HTML and CSS in order to design for the web. They’ll come away with an understanding of the fundamental elements of web development, and they’ll put their new skills to use by creating their own webpage for their final project.
In Design Principles, sophomores will collaborate, take a few risks, and learn the value of “failing up” as they go deep in the field of human-centered problem-solving. DEEP is the Co-Edge acronym for the four stages of design thinking: Discover the question that needs to be answered or the problem that needs to be solved; empathize with the person or institution for whom you are solving the problem; experiment with possible solutions; then Prototype to demonstrate your solution to your user.
Ethics is a fast pace examination of our lives and how ethics plays a role in all we do and say. Ethics is a big field, so the purpose of this class is not to cover everything, but to cover those things that are most relevant for high school students. The goal is to provide a foundation from which to think about ethics in hopes of answering the questions: What is ethics? Why is it important? How do my actions speak to my ethics? Although we do explore the philosophical underpinnings of ethics, we spend the majority of our time discussing the multiple and varied experiences that we have had that produced ethical questions and dilemmas in our lives and how we’ve dealt with them and why. We explore how our own ethical beliefs have been developed: parents, friends, games, religion, TV, books, and even technology and the bias that is inherent in our decisions. Our discussions also include bringing in politics, social justice, equity, equality, honor code, character cornerstones, how we justify things to fit our needs, and why and how good people can and sometimes do bad things. The class is designed to make students think, to push their understanding of how and why they make decisions, and ultimately to help them own the decisions that they do make. Every voice adds perspective in this class and every student is expected to participate, as we tackle head-on the ideas of right and wrong and good and bad and all of the fun stuff in between.
The class will focus on developing an exceptional facility for speaking in front of groups. Activities will include extemporaneous evaluations, soliloquy, stand-up comedy, and group improvisation. Efforts will be made to decrease the speaker’s anxiety and promote the use of appropriate aids, including but not limited to powerpoints, videos, and subject-related props. The goal of the program is to empower sophomores to become outstanding speakers in preparation for class presentations, College interviews, and Senior Speeches, and beyond.
In their junior year, students experience the joy and fulfillment of service through the Peer Mentoring class. Students work with students at Lincoln Elementary School to provide academic support. Besides assisting with the academic success of the kids, Collegiate students act as mentors.
COLLEGE 101: SELF DISCOVERY AND PREP
The main emphasis of the course is to help students discover who they are, what they value, and how to use this understanding to inform their college search process. Additionally, we will work on creative, nonfiction writing and begin the important work of drafting college essays and materials. Testing and test prep is also a point of emphasis in this Co-Edge course, and we will work with every student to create an individualized testing plan that will help him or her reach his or her best score. A few overarching goals are to put every junior in a position to have a preliminary list of colleges, a significant start on his or her applications and writing, and, in most cases, to be finished with standardized testing by the end of the academic year.
Respect is the cornerstone of focus during this Co-Edge class. An open format is used to discuss respect in relationships, on social media, in our school, and within the community. A variety of mediums will be used to analyze why respect is important and what are the consequences when there is a lack of respect. Students will also discuss and think through ideas about individual roles they can play. The class will consider the idea of the individual’s relationship with respect and respect on a more global level.
CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING
This entrepreneurial problem-solving course places students as problem solvers with local businesses and organizations. Students will work on campus in project teams and present their solutions off-campus in the boardrooms of local companies. Companies that students have worked with in the past include Heine Bros Coffee, Quantum Communications, Bourbon Barrel Foods, and Highland Cleaners.
Seniors choose a local business, organization, or individual with whom they would like to intern and then spend 9 hours working alongside a professional mentor. Upon completion of their internship or research experience, students craft a mini-documentary of their work.
This spreadsheet-based Financial Literacy course provides a basic understanding of personal finance education which will include an introduction to budgeting, accounting, financial statements, insurance, investing, and credit. Guest speakers from the local business community will be presenting on these topics to expose students to the practical application of financial literacy concepts. The students will complete a final group project summarizing all of their learning during the course.
COLLEGE 102: APP LAB
This course supports students through every step of the college application process. It provides them with technical guidance; high-level, strategic advice; and an environment that fosters creativity. No matter where students find themselves in the process, they are supported and their best interests are at the center of the work in this class. Students will complete the Common Application and non-CA applications; finalize their application list and application strategy; and brainstorm, draft, and revise essays. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we use our time together to help students understand all of the ups and downs that can come with a highly selective process and how best to support themselves and each other through it.
TRANSITIONING TO COLLEGE
Inspired by the four Collegiate cornerstones of respect, honor, compassion, and responsibility and team-taught by our Upper School Counselor and College Counselors, this course will provide strategies to prepare students for what is arguably one of the biggest transitions of their lives. We discuss a wide variety of topics ranging from roommates to college budgets to campus safety to academic planning and everything in between. Our hope is to give each senior a concrete and tangible plan for how to transition academically, socially, psychologically, emotionally, and thoughtfully to the college world.