Learning and thriving

(Appearing in the Daily News, Letters to the Editor, 9/9/06)
I am gratified a committed group of parents, educators, and other community members continue to advance their vision for a new charter school in Moscow. On Aug. 17, the charter for the proposed Palouse Prairie Charter School was presented to the public. This meeting was an important and necessary part of the complex process of creating and chartering a new school. Though I was unable to attend, I understand that the general tone of the meeting suggests that more effectively educating school district staff, the board of trustees, and the general public about the vision and merits of the proposed charter school is a critically important next step.

At the heart of the Palouse Prairie Charter School’s proposal is a teaching/learning model known as Expeditionary Learning/Outward Bound. Currently used in numerous schools across the nation, ELOB creates hands-on, project-based learning experiences that integrate multiple strands of the curriculum into relevant educational activities within the classroom and the community at large. My son had the good fortune to experience ELOB while attending the local Renaissance Charter School. Though satisfied with the school he now attends, he still reminds me that his two years at Renaissance remain his favorite years of school. He and many of his friends thrived academically with the ELOB model, and I would like other children in our community to have the same opportunity to learn in such an engaging and exciting classroom environment.

Our children are a diverse group of learners with a wide variety of learning styles. In a community that rightfully prides itself on its support of diversity, I believe we must consider all educational proposals that offer our youth an expanded menu of environments in which to learn and thrive.

Donald Stanziano, Moscow

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