11th Grade

 Eleventh graders are developmentally poised to take an increasingly sophisticated approach to their learning. This is true not only in each of their classes but also in the creation of their program. As the majority of their classes are electives, students begin to specialize in certain areas of interest, working with their advisors to balance interests, the need for continued challenge and growth, and the looming requirements of college applications.  

One of the goals of eleventh grade is for students to sustain specific strands of inquiry, deepen their knowledge in particular subject areas, and practice critical thinking. They also deepen their understanding of and reflect on personal experiences in their communities and the larger world. This happens daily in eleventh grade classes, as well as in their class on the college admission process. For example, students take a New York studies course in which they examine the city through a variety of lenses, including immigration, crisis and renewal, and art and architecture. The year culminates with a trip experience, where students engage in place-based research to understand their relationship to and capacity to have an impact on challenges facing our society. This trip experience is unique in that students and faculty form small groups based on student interest and plan each group’s experience collaboratively over the course of the year.

In the third trimester, students in advanced science classes demonstrate creativity by designing and implementing their own independent labs to test out and explore particular questions they want to pose, using the knowledge and skills they have gained in the course. Citizenship in eleventh grade is incorporated in assemblies that are often student-led and emerge from a desire to share thinking, ideas, and initiatives inspired by electives. Some highlights include the economic inequality assembly (led by students in the economics class, and the International Day of the Girl assembly (led by students in the feminism class). Student performances from the music and dance classes courageously showcase collaborative projects and individual compositions.
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Little Red School House
and Elisabeth Irwin High School

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