School of IDEAS

Preparing students for the 21st century
Invention, design, engineering, art, & science.

IDEAS is a place where:

  • A serious learning environment engages students to be active learners.
  • Project-based curriculum is the norm.
  • Team teaching is encouraged.
  • Technology is a tool available to all.

Project-Based Learning

Instruction at IDEAS is fundamentally different than at many high schools. The heart is project-based learning. It is a real world, hands-on approach to learning. When students understand that their work is ultimately valuable as a real problem that needs solving, or a project that will impact others, they’re motivated to work hard. Just as in the adult world of work, when an assignment has real, legitimate value, it is more meaningful and important to do it well and to do it right.

Team Teaching

Teamwork is a major focus of our school model. Teachers collaborate and teach courses together whenever possible so that students can see the connections between subject areas. Learning will not be limited by traditional subject boundaries. For example, students might take a “Science & Society” course in which they learn how major scientific breakthroughs have affected history. Teaching courses together helps students make cross-curricular connections.

Technology: A Tool for the 21st Century

We have created a technology-rich environment with a computer for every student. Online Project Libraries, advanced online grading systems, and an unprecedented degree of parent access to student progress are key components. The School of IDEAS is part of a nationwide network of technology-driven schools, which have a demonstrated track record of student success.

It is critical that students have access to technology and understand its importance in the modern world. There is a computer available for every student and graduates will be technology-literate (research and data collection, file management, word processing, spreadsheets, databases, networking, browsers, and e-mail).

Parents have access, too! Parents can also take advantage of the technology as most course materials, student progress, and grading is available online at a secure web site.

An Empowering Learning Environment

Geography, history, literature, fine arts, math, science, world languages, health, and other electives are key to preparing students for a successful future. But IDEAS students will go beyond the basic 4J graduation requirements and be college ready with exposure to college-level courses, internship opportunities, and valuable workplace skills.

Are you interested in becoming an IDEAS student?

Instead of memorizing Newton’s three laws for a physics class, IDEAS students design a sport to be played on the moon. Instead of writing a report about a philosopher in a government class, IDEAS students debate the nature of humanity (good or evil) and create their own political party. Instead of taking a 200 question multiple-choice test on the Great Depression, IDEAS students design a museum exhibit explaining the impact of those dark days on society.

IDEAS students are engaged in their school work, are challenged to learn (not just memorize) and are actually enjoying school.