DCMS students showed off their final School without Walls (SWW) projects last Thursday evening during Presentations of Learning (POL) at the DCMS campus, marking the end of a seven-week experiential learning unit. The opening ceremony was held before students’ families, friends, teachers, and mentors on the basketball court at 5 p.m. Representatives from each grade level gave guests a brief overview of projects before the two-hour open house began.
“Presentations of learning were very exciting because of the support from the community and family and friends,” said Grade 9 student Patrick Johnson. During SWW students go into the community to gain hands-on experience with the social and environmental aspects unique to South Eleuthera. Students and teachers alike dive full throttle into the kind of place-based curriculum that CEF is known for.
“I liked SWW because it was a once in a lifetime experience,” said Grade 7 student Charleston Darling. “Other schools don’t really let you do stuff like that.” Grade 7 students studied marine ecology, taking several trips into the field to tag turtles with CEI researchers, snorkel among fish of all kinds at Cape Eleuthera, and camp in the Exuma Cays with Captain Ron, Chris Maxey, and Grade 7 SWW teachers Odette Pretty and Meghan Maloney. Students ultimately produced a nonfiction report about a local marine habitat and organism.
Grade 8 students were immersed in the study of plastic pollution in The Bahamas and the world at large, hoping to find and implement viable local interventions with the help of CEI plastic pollution researcher Kristal Ambrose and Grade 8 SWW teachers Angela Schatz and Emma Sparrow. POL guests were treated to students’ persuasive anti-plastic seminars.
Grade 9 students learned firsthand that a more equitable and just society requires taking action. Teachers Will Simmons and Jaclyn Jones paired each student with a social or environmental activist in the South Eleuthera community to hone in on an injustice and craft a project proposal to be carried out during the forthcoming Community Outreach class.
The presentations were well-attended and an air of celebration was undoubtedly in the air. “I’m constantly impressed with the level of work our students put forth during Presentations of Learning,” said Grade 8 SWW teacher Emma Sparrow.