What will graduates of the IDEA School look like?
Our 8th grade graduates will still enjoy school as much as they did when they were Kindergarteners, because school will still be a place that nurtures their curiosity, supports their full development, and surrounds them with a loving community. These are the foundational cornerstones that will allow them to flourish intellectually and in every other way.
Our graduates will have a high level of self-efficacy and self-confidence, born of years of hands-on practice questioning, learning, doing, and collaborating with others to question, learn and do.
They will be community-minded, with a strong knowledge of the Tucson community and all it has to offer, and a well-developed sense of compassion for their fellow human beings.
Our graduates will be innovators and confident risk-takers, having had the opportunity to regularly test their own theories and learn from their mistakes in a safe environment that nurtures innovation.
They will be strong communicators, both orally and in writing.
They will be life-long learners. They will know what makes them happy, and how to pursue it.
By the time they graduate from 8th grade, our students will have had thousands of hours of practice in: posing tough questions; collaborating with others – both peers and adults – to investigate and explore possible solutions; thinking critically; testing and refining their theories and hypotheses; building prototypes; learning how they learn — and how to teach others what they’ve learned — communicating their goals and needs; accessing diverse resources in pursuit of their learning goals; connecting their experience to that of others and to content knowledge across disciplines…
In short, our graduates will have the ability to give a really compelling TED Talk (or whatever the popular medium is when they grow up) on practically any subject under the sun.
Whether our graduates go on to a small or large high school, they will know how to seek and connect with the resources they need to thrive — such as supportive peers and adults, classes and experiences that interest them, places to build community, etc.
Whether they immediately go on to college or decide to travel or otherwise explore after they finish high school, our graduates will be well-positioned in the world. Their appetite for learning will be great, their ability to find and utilize resources well-honed, their interpersonal skills well-developed, and their choices limitless.