The Community School
The Upper Arlington Community High School is a program that implements the same rigorous UAHS curriculum in a small learning community setting with more diverse teaching and learning methods and more cross-curricular activities. The school is based on the philosophy that students learn best when they engage in hands-on activities with meaningful, real-world applications. Community School implements a model of student governance, allowing each student greater freedom and more responsibility, which fosters the development of greater emotional and social maturity.
The concept of UACHS began in 2001 when a handful of UAHS teachers began developing a vision for a smaller learning community where collaboration among teachers and students would occur on a day-to-day basis. During the 2005-2006 school year, these teachers and an enthusiastic Student Action Team dedicated themselves to designing the many hallmark components of UACHS. As the school has grown, it continues to evolve with the input of students enrolled in the program.
The successful UACHS student is a self-motivated, curiosity-driven, hands-on, experiential learner who desires more freedom, choices, and responsibility in his/her education, including real-world experiences.
For the 2018-2019 school year, any student in grades 10 through 12 may enroll.
The UACHS experience
One of the most integral and significant parts of the UACHS experience is the Town Meeting which will occur once a week. In this meeting, students and teachers meet as equals to engage in dialogue and make decisions concerning the policies, procedures, and maintenance of UACHS. The Town Meeting will be conducted by a rotating group of students who will use a student-designed methodology, which continues to evolve, to present the agenda, moderate discussion, maintain a book of minutes, and call for votes. Engaging in this parliamentary procedure enables students to better understand the challenges and rewards of maintaining a democracy. On weeks when we do not have Town Meeting, students may opt to meet in smaller advisory committees to discuss school issues as well as individual concerns. This more intimate group provides each student a guaranteed opportunity to voice new ideas and concerns for discussion.
UACHS offers courses in Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies, which emphasize inquiry-based, real-world explorations and interdisciplinary connections, as well as student governance. Over the course of the year, students will examine essential questions through the perspective of each of the core subjects. During this integrated study, students will learn how to synthesize their learning in order to achieve a deeper understanding of the world.
All elective courses, global language classes, sports teams, and special interest groups will be available in the main building.
Two real world experiences await students enrolled in UACHS:
Each academic year, UACHS students will identify, design, and then implement a variety of service learning efforts connected to an academic, interdisciplinary inquiry. These academic related projects will encompass real-world applications allowing students to continue learning about a variety of issues beyond the four walls of the classroom.
The Odyssey Project (Find your passion and pursue it!)
For seniors, classes at UACHS will be suspended for an entire grading period in the spring so that each senior may engage in a full-time, self-designed, independent-study exploration. In the fall, each student will work closely with his or her advisory teacher in order to find a passion and pursue it. These quarter-long projects may involve career-related experiences, community service endeavors, opportunities to hone practical skills, participation in college programs, involvement in a research project or the pursuit of a creative endeavor. Students may elect to stay in the Columbus area or, with parental permission and support, travel to a more distant location. Because the Odyssey Project is part of the academic program of UACHS, it will serve as the student’s graduation requirement in place of the Capstone Project.
How to register for UACHS
Students who wish to enroll in the Community School should register for courses as suggested by your student’s counselor. Students will receive specific information about their coursework at the beginning of the school year. Coursework taken in the Community School will fulfill UAHS graduation requirements.