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Education Lab Blog

Education Lab is a yearlong project to spark meaningful conversations about education solutions in the Pacific Northwest.

Topic: Riverpoint Academy

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June 13, 2014 at 5:00 AM

Tech-based high school sending 98 percent of grads to college

The national landscape in science and math education is so spotty that federal advisers warn it could have serious repercussions for the U.S. economy. No surprise, then, public schools devoted to these subjects are starting to attract a lot of attention.

One of them, Toppenish High, will be the subject of Sunday’s Education Lab story for a number of notable qualities.

Another, Riverpoint Academy in Spokane’s Mead School District, stands out as much for its heartening results (64 out of 65 graduating seniors are headed to college) as for its unusual approach to teaching. Aimed only at juniors and seniors, Riverpoint gathers its students in an enormous hangar-like room each morning, where they peel off to work on team engineering projects all day.

There are no traditional subject classes or regular class periods (except for math, which is taught first thing each morning). Instead, students spend four hours on “Human-Centered Design,” which includes a half-credit of social studies and environmental science. And then “Inventioneering,” which includes English, science, computer coding and social studies.

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Comments | More in News | Topics: Riverpoint Academy, STEM, Toppenish High School