Design the Ideal High School

Design the Ideal High School
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Week 5

Section 4-Chapter Activity-Design the Ideal High School


Take all your notes and any information from the Web you have found into account to design the “perfect” high school based on the social, emotional, physical, and cognitive needs of adolescents aged 15-19 years old. It can be anywhere on the US. Right now, you have an unlimited budget, but you need to research what the preferable school size is.  I expect you to think outside of the box on this.

What will you do about the following and why? Be sure to include justification, not just personal feelings.

Social and emotional

  • • How do you teach about dating behaviors and peers?
  • • How and what do you teach about alcohol and drugs?
  • • How do you encourage or discourage the formation of cliques and why?
  • • Do you separate classes by gender? If so, which ones and why? If not, why?
  • • Do you involve families in the school and how?
  • • What type of counselors are available?
  • • What type of sex education do you offer? Why?
  • • What activities do you have so that ever child can find somewhere to belong?
  • • How do you involve the community in the school and the students in the community? Is community service required?
  • • What is your dress code?
  • • Is ever intelligence addressed in every class?
  • • What opportunities do you provide so all teens have a chance to try different identities? How do you help them look for their strengths?
  • • Do you separate freshmen from other grades? How do you face and hazing activities?


  • • How much space do students need (in classes, in halls, in gyms, in lockers)?
  • • When does your school start (based on the sleep needs of adolescents)?
  • • DO you require physical education classes? What types? What years?
  • • How much time is there between classes? Are your breaks between classes long enough for students to take care of personal needs?
  • • Are there places where students can let off steam?
  • • Are basic medical services available?
  • • What foods are available on campus? Do you have closed campuses, on-site fast food, or healthy choices only?
  • • What do you do about eating disorders?


  • • How long are your class periods? Do you block schedule? Do you have year round schools?
  • • Do you have one track for graduation, or do you have two or more? Why?
  • • Do you have classes available that challenge “book learning”?
  • • How do you grade? Do you have grades? If so, for what subjects? Are they based on contracts?
  • • Will you allow high stakes testing? Why or why not?
  • • What types of AP classes are available, or do you offer college credit classes instead?
  • • How do you incorporate the brain research we talked about in class into your school?
  • • What training do your teachers have to teach adolescents?

This activity is for you to write about what experts believe to be the ideal school. You were to have already researched at least 5 articles for this report already so now you will build on this work. I am expecting you to present both sides of each argument, write a detailed and thorough report, cite a minimum of 7 articles from scholarly sources, use in text citations to support your arguments (see below), submit a paper that is no less than 7-9 pages in length (by my count, not yours) and a works cited page. I have examples listed below of what I am looking for. Failure to submit a paper using these examples will result in a paper with a failing grade.


Briefly research the pros and cons of different models (small, large, secular, etc) and with that information in mind come up with a model you find to be ideal (note why!) and discuss curriculum modifications (if any) you would make (and why). I want you to tell me why you selected each item for your high school–what research speaks to that item being preferable. If your write up is short, opinion based, or unsupported by research it will not be worthy of a high grade. I don’t want your report to be what your opinion is about an ideal high school nor do I want this to be based on your own personal experience. I want your report, every part of it, to be based on what experts or research notes would be ideal. Please cite your sources and note why you made each statement. I also want you to write up your summary noting point, counterpoint. So not what what expert thinks a about a topic, then say what challenges other experts have about this issue, then conclude with what you have decided to do with regard to the school you are creating and why. Make sure you cite your sources in the body of your work and state who said what information. Don’t say, “research says” or “experts say”. Say exactly who said what information as you are talking about it. Every comment should be based on research and thus should be followed by a citation.

Here is an example of the back and forth, point/counterpoint, I am looking for.

“Having a multi-track program would be essential because it would allow students who are preparing for college the ability to acquire the credits needed for graduation as well as have advanced college courses. It would also allow students who are not preparing to go to college to graduation with fewer credits or to prepare for technical programs after high school. Supporters of multi-track curriculums say that this would discourage those students who feel as if they have failed in high school from dropping out according to an article on However opponents argue that multi-track programs not having all students on a college track would be a disservice, “What is required, educators say, is nothing less than revolutionizing schools built for another century, when a high school diploma was a ticket to social mobility in a manufacturing economy, and students with only basic skills could make it into the middle class.” Another opposing argument on says “The attitude that students need an academically less demanding “vo-tech” track fails to consider the dramatic changes in the 21st-century workplace that can make a manufacturing manual tougher to comprehend than a college text. Strong literacy and math skills are vital.” When taking into account a comment quoted in a new York time article by Dr. John Deasy, superintendent of public schools in Prince George’s County, I tend to go towards multi-track programs:  “For a long time we believed in the ‘some kids’ agenda,” Dr. Deasy said. “Some kids will go to college, some kids will go to the work force, some kids can go to the military. That’s garbage. We believe that every kid can learn at a high level and that college is for every child.”

He added, “If a student chooses not to go to college, that is O.K.” I agree completely that if a student doesn’t want to go to college they shouldn’t have to. That’s why I believe having a choice would be important. . AP programs would be available for the students who want to be on track for college. Benefits of these programs according to an article published by the Washington Post are that students have better grades in advanced college courses and that it satisfies requirements for some colleges who have made them “virtual requirements for admission.” Opponents say that “Not only does workload interfere with students’ lives outside of the classroom, but it also creates an undesirable learning environment inside of the classroom.” They say that AP classes may create negative stereotypes for students who are in them because they may be regarded by other students as geeks. Also they say that AP classes take up with ever time students may have left to socialize and that classes move too quickly. This school would still offer AP classes to those who choose it and are on a college track giving students the choice in their academic future but they would be definitely be counseled before their decision making and advised of what will be expected of them.”


I want you make it evident that you consulted both sides of the issue. I want you to state, Dr X noted in “Journal Article Name here” that we should pursue Y idea for the following reasons. However Dr Y states in “Journal Article Name Here” that Dr X is overlooking several issues, which include……. Therefore he states that what is really important is blah and blah. Based on the ideas of Dr X and Dr Y I conclude we will do ………. for the following reasons. I don’t want a paper that presents a one sided opinion. Show me you did your research. Again, most good papers are roughly 10 pages in length. And that is 10 pages by my count, not yours. If your paper is noticeably less than this your grade will suffer accordingly.

I want the bulk of your research to be from peer reviewed journal articles. Because of the work from section 4, a good bit of this you should already have available to you. You can also reference other sites, but peer reviewed journals should be what you rely on most heavily. As noted, for the last section, it would be helpful if you had the experts in the writing center read over or proof your work before submitting.


See the attached assignment for more detail. Once completed upload your assignment.


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