Best Practices
Experiential Learning
The Community Connection Program augments core academic learning with learning in context, and creates an enduring and meaningful educational experience that prepares students for the future. The Community Connection experiential learning program provides Ellis students in grades 9, 10, and 11 opportunities to deeply engage in the community through service that takes place beyond the classroom and in the local community. Students experience real-world learning that encourages collaboration, communication, context, and creativity.  

Ellis has worked closely with regional agencies and organizations to establish meaningful, hands-on opportunities for students to learn and grow as citizens and make a difference in the world. In turn, Community Connection organizations benefit from the talent, enthusiasm, and involvement of capable, passionate Ellis students who work in service of their organizations’ mission.

Community Connection builds a foundation for the deeper involvement for Ellis seniors in the Venture program, where students pursue in-depth independent study placements. These programs are often the inspiration for senior projects, which require each student to engage in an original research project that they then present to their teachers and peers.

GOALS OF THE COMMUNITY CONNECTION PROGRAM
  • Experiential Learning – to develop opportunities for students with the time to utilize and leverage community resources
  • Service Learning – to provide opportunities for mutually beneficial community interaction and activism
  • Interdisciplinary Learning – to learn with teams of faculty who may represent a variety of disciplines and expertise
  • Enrichment without added rigor – to pursue passions without adding academic pressure
HOW COMMUNITY CONNECTION WORKS
Ellis 9th, 10th and 11th graders travel to approved locations to engage in experiential learning activities that deepen understanding and allow students to make meaningful contributions to agencies and organizations serving our region. Faculty advisors chaperone all off-site efforts. Placement opportunities are pursued and vetted by the School’s Partnership Collaborative, a team of Ellis faculty members and administrators tasked with investigating and securing meaningful placements for our students.