We teach the way we live - creating impact and relevance.
The world doesn’t come divided into subjects or content areas, and young people need to understand its interconnected nature in order to succeed. At Pacific Ridge, our academic and co-curricular programs promote connections between and beyond traditional disciplines in a way that adds depth, breadth and purpose to learning. Subject-based courses are carefully designed so they align and intersect with other disciplines throughout the year. Students reflect on big ideas while seated at the Harkness table, then expand their learning and put it into practice through our service learning and global education programs.
Example: 8th-grade students in American Studies and the arts program Photography class create Civil War hybrid portraits, using Photoshop to seamlessly blend their faces into period portraits from the mid-1800’s. Each student researches the era and writes a fictional biography or diary entry for their invented historical subject.
Example: Students in AP Environmental Science and Post-Colonial African History participate in a study of big game hunting, game conservation and environmental ethics. In this co-taught unit, students examine these issues from several angles, including the effects of human displacement from large reservations, tourism and other economic influences, subsistence living and environmental impact.
During year-end global travel students learn by immersing themselves in an unfamiliar culture or location. Integrated by nature, the travel programs are also thematically designed to incorporate concepts from multiple courses in the curriculum.
Overcoming Entrenched Political Conflict in Northern Ireland: Students travel to Northern Ireland to study the area’s long-lasting conflict and the challenges of developing an enduring peace. This trip addresses issues studied in Middle East Diplomacy, the Model United Nations Club, the Hands of Peace service learning group, and others.
South Africa & Post-Colonialism: Students travel to Cape Town and other areas of South Africa to meet with residents, explore a game preserve and work at a township homeless shelter This class addresses issues studied in Post-Colonial African History, AP Environmental Science, Ethical Thinking in Society, Policy and Law, and the New Haven Night Shelter service learning group, among others.