Curriculum & Instruction
OverviewStudents take the courses required for the NC Future-Ready Core Course of Study for a high school diploma. These are the same basic requirements that exist at all NC public high schools but are at an honors level. However, all courses embed, to some degree, the theme of science, technology, engineering, and math throughout the curriculum. Some courses are not offered in our program because they are outside of the pathway for IECHS students. Students spend the first two years of study completing many credits required for a high school diploma and taking one college course each semester. By the fourth and fifth years, students are primarily taking college-level courses. Many of the courses in the first two years are prescribed. However, students can choose more of their courses during their third, fourth, and fifth years.IECHS uses a project-based learning model that focuses on the 17 Sustainable Goals of the United Nations. We approach project-based learning by utilizing a human-centered design thinking process. Our goal is to teach students to be compassionate and to empathize with others and their situations. Our students should think about and solve problems by understanding other people's paradigms. We want our students to leave this place better than they found it!Students earn college credit at East Carolina University upon successfully completing college courses. This college credit may be used at ECU or transferred to another institution. It is up to the receiving institution to make the final decision on how credits are transferred.
IECHS Instructional Strategies
AVID: ADVANCEMENT VIA INDIVIDUAL DETERMINATION
AVID’s mission is to close the achievement gap by preparing all students for college readiness and success in a global society.
Regardless of their life circumstances, AVID students overcome obstacles and achieve success. They graduate and attend college at higher rates, but more importantly, they can think critically, collaborate, and set high expectations to conquer the challenges that await them confidently.
The power of AVID is the ability to affect students in the AVID Elective class and all students throughout the campus. AVID can affect the entire school by providing classroom activities, teaching practices, and academic behaviors that can be incorporated into any classroom to improve student engagement and success. Teachers can take what they've learned at AVID training back to any classroom to help all students, not just those in AVID, to become more college- and career-ready. ~From the AVID website
Project Based Learning
Project Based Learning (PBL) prepares students for academic, personal, and career success and readies young people to rise to the challenges of their lives and the world they will inherit.
Students work on a project over an extended period of time – from a week up to a semester – that engages them in solving a real-world problem or answering a complex question. They demonstrate their knowledge and skills by developing a public product or presentation for a real audience.
As a result, students develop deep content knowledge as well as critical thinking, creativity, and communication skills in the context of doing an authentic, meaningful project. Project Based Learning unleashes contagious, creative energy among students and teachers. ~From PBLWorks Website
STEAM: Strategies, That, Engage, All Minds!
STEAM is an educational approach to learning that utilizes Strategies That Engage All Minds.
At IECHS, we use the UN Sustainable Goals as our starting point for STEAM. Students learn about, engage and problem-solve the goals through project-based learning utilizing a human-centered design thinking process. We use Science, Technology, Engineering, Art/Design, and Mathematics as access points for guiding student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking.
The end results are students who take thoughtful risks, engage in experiential learning, persist in problem-solving, embrace collaboration, and work through the creative process to tackle local and global issues. Our students will be the innovators, educators, leaders, and learners of the 21st century!
Photo: CASEL Wesbite
Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)
Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. See the CASEL website for more information.
Human-Centered Design Thinking Process
There’s no single definition for design thinking. It’s an idea, a strategy, a method, and a way of seeing the world. Human-centered design thinking embodies a mindset of empathy, compassion, optimism, iteration, creativity, and ambiguity. And most critically, design thinking keeps people at the center of every process. A human-centered designer knows that as long as you stay focused on the people, you're designing for—and listen to them directly—you can arrive at optimal solutions that meet their needs. ~from IDEO Design Thinking
The Choose Love Enrichment Program™ is a pre-K through 12th grade, evidence-based social and emotional (SEL) classroom program teaching children how to choose love in any circumstance.
The program focuses on four important character values – Courage, Gratitude, Forgiveness, and Compassion in Action – which cultivates optimism, resilience and personal responsibility. Included elements are positive psychology, mindfulness, neuroscience, character values, and more. ~from Choose Love