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What is the EL Education Model?

All of our schools utilize the nationally-recognized EL Education model, which has its roots in Outward Bound. The model is based upon an expanded definition of student achievement that includes the mastery of rigorous content, development of positive character, and creation of high-quality work. The comprehensive model includes research-based best practices that address five key dimensions of an excellent school:

  • A rigorous curriculum that emphasizes hands-on, real-world learning that is relevant in the lives of our students and their communities.
  • Inquiry-based instruction, which presents students with engaging questions to pursue and research, rather than presenting clear-cut conclusions and facts to be memorized.
  • Student-engaged assessment that drives achievement by involving students in their own assessment through guided self-reflection, revision, and public ownership over outcomes.
  • A collaborative, community-oriented school culture that both values and develops character traits like grit, resilience, compassion, and courage.
  • Strong and effective leadership practices including distributive leadership and the sharing of and learning from best practices.

The model was developed and continues to be refined by our national partner, EL Education, created over 25 years ago through the collaboration of the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Outward Bound. EL Education is a leading K-12 nonprofit that creates curriculum, books, and videos, and provides professional development for schools, districts, and states.

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