This past fall, Evergreen Community Charter School as selected as one of only 23 schools in the network to receive a special EL credential acknowledging the notable accomplishments of our students and teachers. As part of the credentialing process, our staff provided extensive evidence of the remarkable achievement on traditional measures, such as the annual state assessment, but also in the areas of character and high-quality work.
Evergreen has served as one of a select group of EL Mentor Schools since 2013. As a Mentor School, we have documented and contributed examples of our exceptional teaching practice and student work to EL’s national library of resources, and have hosted hundreds of visitors from across the country.
In December 2014, Evergreen hosted an EL Education site seminar for educators from around the country.
Evergreen is a fully-developed testament to the EL core belief that engaging students in work that is challenging, adventurous, and meaningful results in authentic and deep learning and achievement. By finding complex, rigorous ways to engage with the local community and the natural world, our students achieve more than they thought possible, becoming reflective, active contributors to building a better world.
We are grounded in the EL Education standards:
- Learning is active.
- Students are scientists, urban planners, historians, and activists, investigating real community problems and collaborating with peers to develop creative, actionable solutions.
- Learning is challenging.
- Students at all levels are pushed and supported to do more than they think they can. Excellence is expected in the quality of their work and thinking.
- Learning is meaningful.
- Students apply their skills and knowledge to real-world issues and problems and make positive change in their communities. They see the relevance of their learning and are motivated by understanding that learning has purpose.
- Learning is public.
- Through formal structures of presentation, exhibition, critique, and data analysis, students and teachers build a shared vision of pathways to achievement.
- Learning is collaborative.
- School leaders, teachers, students, and families share rigorous expectations for quality work, achievement, and behavior. Trust, respect, responsibility, and joy in learning permeate the school culture.
Field work is an important aspect of our design and one of the best ways to learn about the world around us. Each class will participate in many field trips throughout the year in order to experience directly the subjects being studied and in order to conduct field work in the assigned area.
In addition, most classes take an end-of-the-year overnight trip that challenges students to apply the lessons of their expeditions and to demonstrate their independence and responsibilities as learners and community members.
Crew Not Passengers
At Evergreen, we echo the words of Outward Bound founder Kurt Hahn in approaching education as “Crew not passengers.”
Just as Crew on a ship, our students are not just “along for the ride,” but wholly engaged in the journey, and responsible for reaching destinations through their collaborative and individual effort. One way we embrace this philosophy is by CREW also assigning each student to a smaller Crew.
Crews are groups of approximately 12 students from the same grade level, led by a faculty Crew Leader and meeting within the school day. Crews provide students an ongoing small peer community as well as a supportive relationship with an adult advisor.
Founded in research that demonstrates social and emotional development as highly beneficial to academic success, and Evergreen’s dedication to educating the whole child, Crews focus on life skills and character development through innovative activities and lessons.