What is Project Based Learning?
Project-based learning (PBL) is a teaching and assessment method which engages students in active learning activities by identifying a real-world problem and developing its solution. Students work with partners, in groups, or independently to demonstrate their skills in the areas of problem-solving, questioning, time-management, creativity, ingenuity, comprehension, and analysis. Students demonstrate what they learn as they journey through the lesson or unit, not just at the end.
Why is Project-Based Learning so effective for some students?
PBL methods actively engage students in the lesson / unit from beginning (entry events) to the end (presentation / projects). Students who struggle with traditional teaching methods such as lengthy lectures, extensive note-taking, independently reading textbooks & answering questions, etc. typically benefit from PBL methods where students are expected to interact with each other, ask questions, seek solutions, and manipulate information. PBL provides real-world connections for students in a curriculum they frequently identify as boring or irrelevant to their own lives. Research is clear; hands-on, interactive, real-world activities are crucial for students who require a different or "alternative" way to learn.
What do the PBL Programs look like?
The Middle and High School PBL Programs at Southeastern Alternative School are designed to offer a hands-on, interactive, project-based learning approach to instruction and assessment, for students who struggle with traditional teaching methods, in all core academic courses required for graduation. Class sizes are extremely small with an average student-to-teacher ratio of 1:10. Overall enrollment is limited to ten (10) seats in the Middle School and sixty (60) seats in the High School. It is important to remember that our our approach to teaching and learning is significantly different -- but it is not easier nor watered down. We adhere to the Virginia SOLs and FCPS curriculum just as the base schools. However, the way we approach the curriculum makes school success more attainable for students who struggle with traditional teaching approaches.
Which students are eligible?
Any student in grades 8 - 12 who is an active resident of Fauquier County is eligible for enrollment consideration to the PBL programs at Southeastern. Students residing outside of Fauquier County are also eligible but are bound to out-of-county tuition guidelines.
The PBL programs are programs of choice and selection requiring interested students and/ or parents to submit an application for admission. Given our limited number of available seats, enrollment is depedent upon space availablity. Applications are date-stamped, reviewed, and processed in order recieved by Southeastern Administration. When necessary, applications will be placed on our "Wait List" and processed as seats become available during open enrollment times. Please visit the Application Information link (left) for an online copy of our Application for Admission forms.
I'm still not sure if PBL is "good fit" for my child
If you are wondering whether or not the PBL Programs at Southeastern Alternative School might be right for your child, please visit the More Helpful Information link (left). You will find a few helpful questions to consider when making your decision whether or not to investigate our programs further.
Please feel free to print the PBL Programs brochure attached below.