When Bonsall decided to open our own neighborhood high school in 2014, the community prioritized an instructional model that would give Bonsall graduates a distinction from other candidates for post-secondary education and professional work. Rather than prepare students for an older economic model in which getting accepted into college is the top priority, Bonsall High School is charged with paying attention to future trends and forecasts to think about how to prepare students to be successful beyond college. We know that the traditional preparation focusing on taking the right courses is not enough. Students need the core skills that their future world will demand.
Student voice is at the center of our learning experience. Teachers consistently involve students in choice of project direction and school administration invites student input to improve school policies. At BHS, we think students need to be partners in their own education and understand their own learning needs.
Instruction designed for the future
The high school model of the past focuses on short-term memorization and disconnected daily lessons including reading from text books.
The high school model of the future relies on authentic, raw data as material to help students apply thinking. It helps students identify and solve problems in data sets, understand varying perspectives, and working with others to determine creative direction of a project.
At Bonsall High School we leverage community partners to ensure that our curriculum is authentic and rigorous and put our students in a position to do meaningful work. We learn from our partners what skills are required in the work force and support our students in those skills along side deep thinking in the content.
The committee has witnessed that the curricular model has supported student collaboration, teacher collaboration, and a high order of critical thinking for the students
— ASC WASC visiting committee, January of 2018