Project-Based Learning (PBL)
Lake Ridge’s journey toward becoming a Focus school began in 2015 with an initial interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). Through our research, however, we quickly learned that being a STEM-focused school was loosely defined and did not provide us the clear direction we were looking for.
The following year several staff members participated in a vision trip to visit a number of other schools. This trip was facilitated by the Doceo Center at NNU. What quickly became more important than the amazing schools we saw was how we felt while we were there. We learned that social and emotional safety were key values for our school, and that PBL (project-based learning) was the direction we should be heading.
The following year we received training from the Doceo Center on how to create a learning-based project. Much of the focus for that first year centered on empathy, a core value we had felt while on that vision trip. Through a little bit of trial and error, and a whole lot of work on the part of our staff, we put together some terrific Exhibition Nights where our student could show and share what they were learning with family, friends and the community.
Over the course of the next two years we learned how to plan for and deliver learning PBL style. This included some training during the summer of 2018 facilitated by Educurious. One of the great things that coincided with our efforts around PBL was the introduction of student devices (iPads) and our NPL (Nampa Personalized Learning) initiative, which put an iPad in the hands of every student. Lake Ridge was selected as one of the first schools district-wide to implement the use of these devices and to be trained in the HACK model (an innovative instruction model that aligns closely with PBL).
Our staff continues to fine tune our work and have recently moved towards more problem-based learning activities. In the problem-based approach students learning is authentic and driven by a current challenge that students work to solve. The solutions and/or new learning are then shared with stakeholders. This approach will prepare students for problems and careers that may not even exist yet.
Focus schools are open to all students. Students who live within the school's boundaries attend focus schools as their home school. Students who live in another school's boundaries or who live outside of the Nampa School District are welcome to apply to attend a focus school through our district's open-enrollment process.
To learn more about open enrollment, visit our open-enrollment page