Rethinking High School With the Super School Project

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Is this what your ideal school would look like? Design it however you want!

Isabella Wartzenluft, Reporter

It is time to #RethinkHighSchool. The XQ Institute, an organization aimed at preparing students for the living in the future, has created The Super School Project. The Chief Executive Officer of the institute, Russlynn Ali, previously worked in the United States Department of Education, and brings in new knowledge and skills about how this generation is being taught, and how schools are run. Over the next few months, The Super School Project will give students, teachers, and innovators alike, the chance to design the next American high school.

By going to https://xqsuperschool.org/challenge, teams can submit a proposal that describes an ideal school. One team will win and receive 50 million dollars worth of funding. This money will go to creating five new schools based off of the team’s proposal.

“If I could design my own realistic high school, I would create a school with more individualized learning programs and less testing overall. I would do this because it would be better for students who learn differently from their classmates, and it would exempt the pressure of test taking for those who are not gifted test takers. All other aspects I would keep the same to keep the dynamic of the unity of students, and the environment as a whole,” says Mallorey Wallace, an Arrowhead sophomore.

“If I could design my own high school I would start by making it look less sterile. The hallways would have areas for people to put up ads and thoughts and ideas. Overall, it would be a much more creative environment. I also believe more classrooms should have bigger windows because light plays a role in reducing fear, anxiety, and depression. All of these are growing concerns for people of high school age. I would keep the desks and such because I think those things help people stay focused,” says Reannyn Mathieu, an Arrowhead sophomore.

To begin, assemble a team. Members must research how people learn today, and decide how it should be changed. The newly redesigned high school should prepare students for their future and create an innovative environment. Teams should consider how a budget will be managed and how staff will be acquired. Members have the chance to rid of the aspects of school they dislike, and create a new atmosphere.

My least favorite thing [about school] is the amount of pressure put on kids. There are some teachers that act like homework for their class is the only thing I should ever do in my spare time. It isn’t necessarily something at school that I hate, it is more what is expected from us outside of school. I absolutely hate the nights when I have to decide between getting a few hours of sleep versus staying up and finishing my homework. There are some teachers that just need to understand that we need to be high schoolers and have a life outside of high school,” says Reagan Zimmerman, an Arrowhead sophomore.

This project will only accept proposals for the next few months.

“The Super School Project seems like an amazing idea in theory. I think it offers hope to students, but I also think it seems like a difficult thing to accomplish,” says Mathieu.

“I think the super school project seems really interesting, and I like that they are accepting help from a student’s perspective. I only hope that they can have an impact,” says Zimmerman.

Create a team and begin to make a difference. The future is here, and students are beginning to have a say in the way they learn.

“I think that the purpose of school should be to teach you how to think, not what to think,” says Zimmerman.