In our 50 years of educating kids, we've successfully put together an overarching structure and daily schedule that help our students adjust to challenge, prepare for college, potentially return to a neighborhood school, and successfully deal with life after Parkmont.
Our program is unique, purposely unlike others, created in a way that makes enormous common sense, adjusts to the differences in individuals, provides focused attention to each student and, as a result, has been truly transformational for hundreds of Parkmont students over the years.
Key elements of our program:
- The formation of relationships between students and a small number of committed, very experienced adults, that last year after year. Because these relationships and conversations span years, there is an increased chance that the profound encouragement provided will take root and have powerful results. This helps us offer a level of knowledge and connection beyond IEPs (Individual Education Programs). It evokes the students' best work and gets them the most engaged – what they really need to succeed.
- A simple, repetitive schedule with variable and stimulating activities. This combination of structure and engaging variation helps kids become more organized and focused, and simultaneously more likely to go home and talk about what they're learning. The curriculum is directed at them, to be meaningful to them.
- The daily schedule is broken up into three academic subjects, one extracurricular, and one advisory period (in five 7-week sessions per year). There is a "Main Lesson" which is 2-hours long each day, allowing students to get in-depth into a subject area in the classroom, as well as take field trips outside of the classroom. Main Lesson topics might include Autobiography, Chemistry, World Geography, Anatomy & Physiology, History of Theater, Immigration, and much more. The two other academic subjects of each day are Reading Group (reading, writing, and usually other social studies components), and Math, both of which run through all five sessions of the year. The daily "Afternoon Class" is an extracurricular that may be sports, art, or drama, changing in each of the five sessions. Kids never have homework in more than three subjects per night.
- A curriculum that makes the world our classroom, with field trips and real-life internships. Frequent field trips for academic classes, and for the sake of adventure, engage students in their subject areas, taking advantage of the diverse community we live in. Internships give our students the experience of connecting academics with real-life activity (cultural, economic, environmental, health, etc.).
Our program is unique, but that doesn't mean it isn't academically rigorous. Students will be challenged and supported simultaneously.