CPESSCentral Park East Secondary School (New York City, NY)
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Are internships or other forms of work-based learning required of CPESS students?
There's an old-fashioned idea concept called "mental faculties" that reminds me of our CPESS notion of "habits of mind" [perspective and viewpoint, evidence, connection, relevance and supposition].
In the last two years of CPESS, we don't worry about whether the work is at a nonprofit agency.
And it is those portfolios--14 of them--that are the basis in the end for graduation from CPESS.
Some of the other job placements also provide opportunities to learn technical skills, and some of our CPESS courses require such specific skills, such as drafting.
Every day at CPESS, the advisory group of 10 to 15 people has a chance to talk and get a sense of where it's going.
CPESS itself will top out at fewer than 500 students.
Yet, there are only 18 students in a typical CPESS class, a feat accomplished in part by virtually doing away with administrators.
Teachers at CPESS also shoulder more responsibility than in traditional schools.
But at CPESS the curriculum is synthesized into just two blocks: humanities and science/math.
But regardless of the topic, what CPESS calls "the essential questions" guide student projects that usually cover several disciplines at once.
Or, in the words of the fifth habit of mind we seek to instill at CPESS, So what?