The School Within a School (SWS) emphasizes humanistic, student-centered learning in a creative, supportive atmosphere.
SWS focuses on accommodating individual learning styles, within a heterogeneous non-tracked grouping.
Most courses extend classroom learning to the surrounding community and beyond. A high level of student commitment and
initiative is essential for success.
How and why did SWS begin?
SWS began a quarter of a century ago through its historical parent, the Alternative Learning Group (ALG). It was the result of efforts by Nauset students, parents, staff members, community members, school committee members and town officials, who were seeking a more relevant, community-based education. The following is an excerpt from the original 1973 program proposal.
"The young people who have come into the freedom and flexibility of the innovative ALG program represent, we feel, a cross section of the region's school age population of grades 10-12. Their academic talents and social awareness vary considerably, but each of them wants to become responsible in the WHAT, WHEN, HOW, and WHY questions relating to his education. The ALG today, then, is really a school within a school." This marked the beginning of a true alternative to traditional programming whose educational priorities issue from a different academic paradigm.
How is SWS different from a traditional program?
SWS emphasizes a smaller educational community which fosters camaraderie and respect among students and staff.
SWS students participate in administrative decisions, including recommendations for the selection of staff.
The SWS Executive Committee, an elected student body, performs administrative responsibilities in weekly meetings.
SWS students provide input in academic planning and application.
SWS fully integrates the English and Social Studies curriculum, using team teaching techniques for more meaningful student learning through emphasis on problem-solving and critical thinking.
SWS students in the integrated classes are required to fully participate in an evening Enrichment Seminar whose academic component is integrated into the English and Social Studies curriculum.
SWS enrichment includes an Adventure Curriculum which promotes cooperation, personal confidence, and team-building skills. The emphasis on social skills promotes a very positive environment in the academic setting.
The School Within a School, while maintaining a small community environment, encourages it's students to take advantage of any of the resources available in the traditional program in order to help them meet individual needs. SWS will continue to evolve in response to changing needs of our population.
SWS ENRICHMENT SEMINAR
Student participation in the evening Enrichment Seminar is a critical component of SWS. The seminar provides further academic integration of the English and Social Studies curriculum, and promotes cooperation, self-confidence, and team-building skills.
The intensive portion of the Enrichment Seminar reflects
The extended number of hours students commit to the program, beyond the required enrichment hours.
Participation in and completion of student exhibitions at the conclusion of each marking period.
Group projects with staff assistance will be selected, designed, and executed by students. Projects will reflect the study topics of the interdisciplinary courses themselves.
With additional guidance from the SWS staff, the student Executive Committee will be responsible for determining the design forum and evaluation criteria for projects.
Some evening classes will be devoted to project work, and the rotating block when necessary may also be utilized to facilitate project completion.
Student exhibitions will not be limited to the Nauset Regional High School campus. Community involvement will be an additional component.