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This article was published 5/3/2010 (3859 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
A school where students spend two days a week out in the world learning and contributing, maybe figuring out where their lives are going.
Manitoba's first Met School, inside Garden City Collegiate, is a school-within-a-school where part of the plan is to knock down a big chunk of wall and connect three classrooms directly.
Met isn't an acronym, it doesn't stand for anything, it's an innovative education movement that began in Rhode Island 15 years ago and has spread here, explained Adair Warren, principal of the Seven Oaks School Division Met School.
The Met School has 40 students in grades 9 and 10 in three classrooms, and will expand in September to include Grade 11 and go to five classrooms.
It has elements that sound somewhat like multigrade flex programs, like off-campus classrooms, like work placements. But Met is its own package.
"One of the main differences is the internships," said Warren. "The internships are what really set us apart."
First, students develop a resume and interview techniques, then undergo a 40-minute interview before starting an internship.
Students intern Tuesdays and Thursdays with a business, community agency, or institution, not only working, but also planning and carrying out a major project that will benefit the host organization.
The idea is to open up the world to students, show them how the curriculum connects directly to the real world, and help kids discover their options, said Warren.
Some of the students plan to go to university, some envision professional careers, some will work after Grade 12. Every student and his or her parents have to write letters describing their passions and interests, and why they believe a place in the school would be good for them, said Warren.
Grade 10 student Andrew Provenski said it's a big change from a regular classroom, but a welcome change.
"For science, I've done more hands-on work than I did my whole Grade 9 year," he said.
He's gone to Ecole Seven Oaks Middle School twice a week since October, working with Grade 6 students in the morning, then working afternoons on the school's major stage production of The Wiz.
"I help build sets for the play" as his internship project, said Andrew, who wants to become a teacher.
Grade 9 student Ocean Breland is considering teaching or some form of working with kids. She interns at the Manitoba Children's Museum, where her project is developing the curriculum aspects of the April school field trips program -- a kid-friendly bugs exhibit called Attack of the Blood Suckers.
Ocean said the group work at the Met School appealed to her.
"I really liked the idea of the different type of learning," Ocean said.
The Met School has three staff, all certified classroom teachers -- who are all called advisers instead of teachers. "They don't teach the students everything, they facilitate," said Warren.
Adviser David Zynoberg is just fine with that title: "I spend a lot of my day one-on-one with the students -- a lot of their work is independent," Zynoberg said. "I'll help them with their brainstorms."
Warren is making the rounds of the division's Grade 8 classes to describe the Met School, which she said is open to anyone in Seven Oaks S.D.
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