Wellesley High School Evolutions program still has space available for next year

Evolutions, WellesleyThere are still spots available for the 2019 -2020 school year in the Wellesley High School Evolutions program, an interdisciplinary and collaborative program open to juniors and seniors in which teachers and students make connections across courses in Art, English, Science, and Social Studies.

Open House on April 10

There will be an Evolutions panel discussion/Open House for students and parents on Wednesday, April 10, 6pm, Wellesley High School, Room 305. On hand to answer questions will be  current Evolutions students, alumni, parents, and teachers. Food and drinks will be served.

The idea of the interdisciplinary program is to offer students the opportunity to engage in project-based learning that is not confined to the typical bell schedule, reaching students who are excited by the possibility of exploring school in a new way and who want to have more ownership over their learning.

I recently had the chance to sit in as an audience member during Evolutions students’ presentations on infectious disease outbreaks. During the month-long project, students learned about how diseases are transmitted and  prevented. They also studied likely government responses in various major cities, how journalists might cover the issue (or be prevented from doing so), and the ethics of decision making. Their projects were organized, clear, and demonstrated academic insight. The students were ready for questions from the audience, and didn’t get their backs up when they were challenged by Wellesley Department of Health officials on some of their terminology or the viability of their solutions. English teacher Thom Henes was on hand in a very behind-the-scenes sort of way. The show was definitely run by the students.

Wellesley parent Annie Cohen’s son says that’s exactly what she likes about the program, which her son took part in two years ago. She says, “My son is in his Freshman hear at Renssalaer Polytechnic (RPI) and I give all the credit to Evolutions for preparing him for not only the academic rigor of RPI, but also with the skills to manage his time, prioritize his to-do’s, and think critically during his first experience of living away from home. Every college that he applied to was excited about his Evolutions experience. In fact, through his college application process, we discovered that almost every college is beginning to offer their students the flexibility to design their own major, much like the Evolutions model! Evolutions actually set him apart and ABOVE his peers when he applied to colleges.”

Cohen’s daughter also enrolled in the program and Cohen says she is, “…just starting to think about what colleges she will apply to and Evolutions has given her a clear sense of her academic interest, her areas of strength, and her personal objectives.” 

Henes says the program is the ideal place for students who “want to have more voice, choice, and ownership of their learning, students who are adventurous, imaginative, looking to make change in the world and meaning in their lives.”

Some of the colleges in which Evolutions students enroll: Boston College, Colgate, Columbia, Dean, Fairfield University, Howard University, MassBay, Northeastern University, New York University, Quinnipiac, Savannah College of Art and Design, Olaf, all the UMass campuses, Syracuse, University of San Diego, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, and many more.  

There is one week left to sign up for the program. Application information here.