Our students are curious, questioning, responsible, idealistic people who are already asking how they can have a positive effect on the world, and we challenge them to live up to their potential, helping them learn the skills that will allow them to reach their goals. The CCLCS curriculum is based on the Massachusetts Frameworks, but ranges well beyond. Although we don't "teach to the test", our students consistently exceed state and regional averages on MCAS tests. Students read and write extensively, learning to examine complex issues and communicate their ideas clearly. In 6th grade Science, for instance, the Salmon Project examines the political and economic implications as well as the biological phenomena of salmon migrations, culminating in an in-depth research paper. Long term projects and class presentations let students follow their own interests, and help them learn to manage their time. When seventh graders study Ancient Greece, one might build a scale model of the Parthenon, while another studies Greek tragedy and performs a scene from Antigone.
Seminars - elective courses open to students from all grade levels - are offered each term, in a wide array of subjects, from Italian Language and Culture to Forensic Science to Atlantic Challenge Rowing, giving students a chance to look further into favorite subjects and to try new ones. Rising to the challenges they meet at CCLCS, students gain the confidence to reach higher, wider, and in new directions. Now that the school is 21 years old, we've watched with pride as our alumni have grown into thoughtful, involved adults, successful in their further education and accomplished in many different ways.
Cape Cod, whose wild beauty has fascinated scientists and artists alike, whose history is a microcosm of American History, is our home, our own community, and our classroom. Beginning in sixth grade, when science classes make site visits to learn about plant and animal life in the different Cape ecosystems, environmental studies are an essential part of the curriculum. Our faculty take every chance to broaden their own horizons and those of their students - a whale rescue in Wellfleet or a Moliere play in Boston make great reasons to set off in the vans and find out more about the world. We're lucky to live in a place so rich in natural and human resources, and our Community Resource Partners add immeasurably to the education we offer. Some recent examples - this year's seminar studying the birds of Wing Island under the auspices of the Cape Cod Museum of Natural History, and our collaboration with Big and Small Puppetworks and the Orleans Council on Aging to produce Two Old Women, a puppet production based on the Athabascan folktale of intergenerational connection.
CCLCS students have many chances to see how they can make a difference on the Cape. Activities and seminars often focus on community service, with students helping out in innumerable ways, planting and tending the garden at the Massachusetts Council for Prevention of Cruelty to Children, volunteering time at the Salt Box preschool, hauling in hundreds of pounds of garbage at the annual Coastsweep event at Nauset Beach.
Our home community is a small one, just one tiny part of the large and ever more interconnected world our students will grow up to join. We try to give students the widest possible window on the world, through the curriculum and seminars, as well as activities devoted to greater understanding. Through the One World Youth Project, kids connect to their colleagues around the world, talking online to students in Kosovo and Tanzania, among others, learning about their very different cultures. The Japan Homestay, our enduring exchange program with the city of Matsuyama-Machi, Japan, sends eight students to Japan every other year, after a period of intensive study of the Japanese language and culture. A few years ago students from Roots & Shoots traveled to the United Nations on International Peace Day for a conference with other students from across the country and around the world.
It is CCLCS' mission to foster intellectual development by providing challenging interactive learning experiences, engaging students in the process of discovery, giving them every chance to get their hands dirty and their feet wet. Science classes collect water samples in kayaks for microscopic evaluation back in the classroom, studying the effect of the micro-organisms on our local waterways. Math classes create architectural models; Literature students, reading Our Town, also produce the play, set, costumes and all.
Most units of the curriculum are based around a project that combines theoretical and practical aspects of the subject, much as in real life. The Imperial Scrapbook Project, for instance, asks them to write a journal from a Roman emperor's point of view, illustrated by a timeline, map, and other images, drawings or models, to replicate a historian's use of primary and secondary sources. Seminars - elective courses - further extend the range of opportunity: about sixty different seminars are offered each year. Just a few examples from over the years: one group of students built a windmill while another formed a garage band, a third studied winter animal tracking, and as usual, our Mock Trial team won first place in Bristol County!