Authentic, Personalized, and Rigorous
Key Components of Renaissance's Academic Program:
Learning Expeditions and Fieldwork
Rigorous Academics and Focus on College Preparation
Building Character and an Ethic of Service
Portfolios/Presentations of Learning
Adventure Education and Physical Education
Learning Expeditions—deep studies of rich academic topics—are a primary means of organizing and delivering the educational program, cutting across disciplines, including the arts. Learning Expeditions are inquiry based, integrated through core content areas, and differentiated based on student needs and interests. Students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an engaging and complex question, problem, or challenge.
Research says students perform best when they are engaged and involved in their educational process instead of mere “recipients” of knowledge and information. Renaissance students aren't “held back” by the traditional class offering schedule, but receive instruction and tools that meet their academic needs. These include independent study opportunities, ‘X Block’ electives, internships, and field work opportunities for students to learn “in the field” with experts in areas about which they are passionate.
World Class Outcomes
We are committed to serving students according to research-based best practices in education to prepare students for college, careers, and life. A rigorous and flexible RSS education will lead to a deep understanding of concepts represented by the World Class Outcomes and Colorado State Content Standards. What's more, students at Renaissance become adept in the “four C’s” that business leaders cite as imperative to success in any field -Communication, Collaboration, Creativity, and Critical Thinking—rather than on memorization of information.
Graduating From Renaissance
The academic program at Renaissance Secondary School is a rigorous program that prepares students for admission to elite colleges and universities in addition to preparing young people to live and work in the real world. Renaissance, therefore, has some of the highest graduation requirements of high schools in Douglas County.
Unlike other high schools in Douglas County, Renaissance does not limit the number of classes a high school student may take - and Renaissance does not mandate "free periods."
In order to graduate from Renaissance Secondary School, high school students must have successfully completed a Capstone project, forty hours of community service, and a minimum of 24.0 credits.
Language arts - 4 credits
Mathematics - 4 credits (and must include content covered in Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II)
Social Studies - 3 credits (and must include one US History or World History and .5 US Government or Civics credit)
Science - 3 credits (two of which must be lab based)
Arts - 2 credits
Physical Education - 1 credit
World Language - 1 credit
Electives - 6 credits
Renaissance utilizes standards-based grading. High school students are also given traditional grades for purposes of college admission.
Standards-based grading (SBG) is an innovation in education that focuses on learning and helps increase achievement. Instead of a single overall grade, SBG breaks down the subject matter into smaller “learning targets.” Each target is a teachable concept that students should master by the end of the course. Throughout the term, student learning on each target is recorded. Teachers track student progress, give appropriate feedback, and adapt instruction to meet student needs.
Read more about the specifics of SBG at Renaissance here.
The Powerful Play:A Look at Standards Based Grading