A Day in the Life of a SILA Student
At SILA, international and area students will bring many perspectives to classroom discussion.
For example, a discussion may begin about resources. Through a well facilitated dialogue students hone in on the reality that some people have plenty of food, while others are starving. The lively discussion moves on to other types of resources, and a student brings up the shortage of gasoline resulting in high prices at the pump. The area student comments, “[even though gas prices are high] I need my truck, even if it only gets 13 miles per gallon.”
An exchange student from Brazil who also attends SILA jumps into the discussion, and shares how in her country the sugar crop is so plentiful, there are manufacturers that produce gasoline – known as ethanol fuel – from sugar. She goes on to explain that fuel in Brazil is 25 cents a liter.
The Wisconsin student comments that his own truck would never be able to run on sugar gasoline. Other students explore the idea and conclude that there are ways to convert the fuel system in a vehicle to use different types of fuel.
A German exchange student then brings to the discussion what life is like in his country, where the roads are so narrow and gasoline is so prohibitively expensive that public transit is the way that people travel from place to place. A student from Asia agrees that the public transportation features prominently on her continent as well.
As the realities of economics, lifestyles, history, science, geography and transportation are brought into this conversation, students become much more aware of the differences in the way people live their daily lives – and solve problems – around the globe.
Involving 10 – 15 young people from all over the world and the entire SILA student body.
- Creating a more culturally diverse learning environment.
- Preparing students to work with individuals for whom English is not their first language.
- Crystallizing SILA students’ understanding of the global nature of our economy, environment, and other social institutions.
- Helping SILA students identify opportunities for being educated, working and living throughout the world.
- Fostering the interpersonal skills and multi-cultural competencies that are necessary to be an effective member of our global workforce.
- Teaching the technological skills necessary when offering a global education.
Involving 10 – 15 students from Milwaukee and the entire SILA student body
- Creating a more culturally diverse learning environment
- Crystallizing the challenges for individuals, families, social institutions and employers in rural and urban settings leading to a deeper understanding of environmental complexity.
- Fostering appreciation for the advantages of both environments.
|Advisory Circle||7:57 a.m. – 8:45 a.m.|
|Silent Sustained Reading||8:45 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.|
|ALEKS Math||9:15 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.|
|Break||10:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.|
|Core Curriculum Rotation||10:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.|
|Lunch||12:30 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.|
|Silent Sustained Reading||1:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.|
|Project Based Learning Time||1:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.|
|End of the Day Business||2:45 p.m. – 3:07 p.m.|
Why is SILA committed to Project Based Learning?
|Project Based High School||Traditional High School|
|Students have a choice in what they learn and how they learn it. Each student has a Personalized Educational Plan (PLP) that is developed by the student, parent, and teacher.||Students choose specific courses, but the teacher determines course content. Parents have limited involvement in the development of the student’s learning program.|
|Flexible time schedule throughout the day.||Class time for each course is approximately 50 minutes.|
|Curriculum changes continuously. Student and parent voice and community experts often shape learning.||Curriculum is framed around 4, nine week terms in school year.|
|Multi-age groups based on interest and skill levels.||Students are primarily divided into grade levels based on age.|
|A large variety of assessment tools are used to demonstrate student success, including community project presentations.||Assessment consists primarily of essays, multiple-choice, short-answer, and true-false tests.|
|Curriculum addresses each student’s individual strengths and weaknesses.||Curriculum covers the same content for every student regardless of strengths and weaknesses.|
|Technology is integrated into projects that frequently have a global reach…real time partnering with students in other schools.||Technology is occasionally integrated into some classes. It varies significantly depending on the teachers’ level of interest and expertise.|
|Learning environment extends outside the classroom walls into the community.||Learning environment is primarily within the classroom walls.|
|Parents communicate with the teacher several times a week through phone calls, email, and in person.||Parents communicate with the teacher once per semester at parent/teacher conferences.|
|Teachers continuously collaborate with colleagues, parents, and community members.||Teachers have limited opportunities to collaborate with colleagues, parents or community members.|
|Curricula are any resource that provides information to solve problems or meet project objectives.||A curriculum is primarily based on text books, lectures, and worksheets.|
|Students, parents, teachers, and mentors examine student’s performance, provide feedback, and seek and offer advice to enhance the learning experience.||Teacher examines the student’s performance, compares it to others, and provides feedback.|
SILA will offer an Arts-Infused Curriculum
- Arts-Infused schools are places where the voices of the students are heard. Evidence of student voice comes in the form of expressive art, writing and the quality of student interaction in the school environment.
- Students’ passions are awakened through creative expression and consequently they are learning because they want to rather than memorizing information and facts.
- The arts frequently engage emotion as well as intellect and learning experiences become powerful authentic learning experiences that bring meaning and relevance to developing language, math, science and social studies skills.
- When students are learning through the arts they commonly follow this process; explore/imitate, describe, label, practice, create and maintain. This process requires hands-on and brains-on teaching and learning and is the key to teaching higher order thinking.
- Learning materials are open-ended and students are encouraged to make interdisciplinary connections.
- The arts-infused classroom looks and feels differently. Commonly the room layout will be very adaptable and flexible. There will be comfortable places for reading, project creation and group work/meetings.
- There is a high level of teacher collaboration and the schedule is designed to make that collaboration possible.
The SILA Handbook is a document of the rules and guidelines of the Shiocton International Leadership Academy.
SILA is committed to Technological and Informational Literacy
“Never before in history has innovation offered promise of so much to so many in so short a time.”
— Bill Gates
- Information is doubling every 5.5 years, technical information is doubling every 2 years and electronic information doubles every hour. Schools must prepare students to learn and navigate this sea of knowledge.
- It is critical that students learn to access information effectively, analyze and evaluate it critically, and use it accurately and creatively.
- Informational literacy allows our children to give meaning and value to the facts, figures and text that currently prevail in traditional education.
- Technological advances have created a workplace environment where workers are held to an increasingly more complex set of performance standards which include innovation, customization, adaptability, and reliability. Our children must be prepared to enter a new kind of world.
SILA’s Commitment to Student Health and Wellness
- SILA uses a health and wellness learning strategy informed by the excellent research done on the Indivisible Self Wellness model, a new evidence-based model of wellness which provides a way to explore and view wellness across the lifespan.
- The model includes the following areas:
- Creative Self Thinking, Emotions, Control, Positive Humor, Work
- Coping Self Realistic Beliefs, Stress Management, Self-Worth, Leisure
- Social Self Friendship, Love
- Essential Self Spirituality, Self-Care, Gender Identity, Cultural Identity
- Physical Self Exercise, Nutrition
- Our purpose for using this new evidence-based tool designed to assess characteristics of wellness is to help individuals make choices for healthier and more purposeful living.