Coolest School In America

book ISBN:1578861861 about the creation of the EdVisions Minnesota New Country School

Aug'2010 - included in Ladies Home Journal profile of 13 "amazing" schools in America.

summary of school structure

  • Charter School

  • 150 students total (Small School), grades 7-12

  • rural Minnesota

  • run by teacher's CoOp (EdVisions) - no principal or managing administrators. Teachers take on committee roles. (Though they do hire some paperwork people for things like dealing with state standards)

  • no classes, no bells, no Curriculum.

    • hmm, how close is this to UnSchooling? Not really, since kids have to pick something and state standards have to be met. But still, pretty cool.
  • everything based on Project Based Learning

  • students group into "advisory" of 18-20, with 1 advisor who facilitates project creation, progress, etc.

    • in EdVisions video, see 2:40 and 3:45 (and backdrops for interviews at 5:30) on physical layout
  • every 6 weeks there's a Project Presentation Night which parents and others can attend, for any student having a finished project to present.

  • project documentation includes process of identifying what bits of state required Curriculum are being covered.

  • each student has her own personal workspace which includes a computer (DeskTop?) - there are lots of shared spaces for group projects, science labs, etc.

Book is 3 different sections

  • chapters by the people who started it: 40 pages - this is the best part by far.

  • essays by "critical friends":

  • testimonials from students:

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