The mission of the DaVinci Collaborative is for high school students to grow into independent learners with creative minds, through personalized, project-based learning that integrates academics, technology and the arts. Each student designs their unique learning path with the assistance of an advisor, allowing students to distinguish themselves as individuals.
This learning model, combined with real world learning with community organizations and businesses, provides youth with opportunities for personally meaningful and authentic learning experiences. The learning environment supports students in becoming the best version of themselves, regardless of college or career choices, and develops students into productive adults, with implications for lifelong success and wellbeing, by connecting skills and learning to student interests.
Equity - Community - Collaboration - Design - Flexibility
Ubiquitous Learning - Democratic Process
DVC will establish and nurture a culture of trust, respect, equality, and empowerment that values all members of the community. Equity means every child receives what they need to develop to their full academic and social potential (National Equity Project). Each of our other core principles are rooted in equity, leading to a rigorous and personalized academic program for each student rooted in their unique curiosity, passion and goals. Discussion and activities related to race and equity will be regularly integrated into staff professional development and classroom instruction with the objective of maintaining a learning community that celebrates diversity and addresses issues of inequity.
DVC will serve as a community hub, providing services for families as well as students. The building will be open all day, and often on evenings and weekends, all year round. It will be available for community gatherings, neighborhood meetings, parties, and athletic events; families will have access to services such as dental and health services, food pantry, and after-care. DVC will form partnerships with businesses, art-based organizations, local experts, and colleges. Students will become part of the community by using compensated employment as part of their learning plan, so that they won't be forced to divide their attention between employment and academics.
The workplace depends on employees being able to work together to get a job done. Therefore, the self-directed experience will be complemented by collaborative and team-based education when students work on small team projects, or engage in a classroom discussion. DVC teachers are also advisors who work with a core group of students. This cohort supports and learns from each other. As students develop expertise, they can contribute to projects, designs, and presentations based on their areas of focus. Advisors collaborate with mentors and community partners such as health and fitness instructors or trade experts to engage support for their students.
Students will demonstrate what they have learned by designing or creating something (as opposed to just "taking a test"). The building will be designed deliberately to foster collaboration. The physical space will be open for both flexible groupings and for individualized learning spaces and heavily tech-integrated. Students will design their pathway through high school. Design will be careful, collaborative, and intentional over time, not haphazard or rushed. The DVC will develop and refine its own versions of a "design thinking" approach to learning.
With the support of an advisor, students will develop the ability to become self-directed learners. The DaVinci Collaborative will encourage students to design their own learning pathway for high school completion--which might take only three years, or as many as five. DVC will utilize a combination of self-paced core modules, collaborative student-led and designed projects, and work in the community, offering multiple schedules and pathways to meet the needs of all students, even non-traditional learners.
Students can learn anywhere, anytime--no longer restricted to the brick-and-mortar building. At the DaVinci Collaborative, students will connect to personalized learning networks through cutting-edge devices and a learning management system. Given flexible scheduling at DVC, students will have constant access to their core program to keep up in the event of weather or illness; they will remain engaged while working outside of school. Internships and apprenticeships are a core component to high school completion.
Students and families are often relegated to receiving the fruit of decisions made by educational administrators instead of participating in the process. DVC believes that all members of the collaborative should participate in decisions wherever possible, especially in areas that directly affect their daily routines. Therefore, students, staff, families, board members, and community partners will all be involved in decision-making processes.