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Dive Days

Build something. Investigate something. Give something. Experience something.

Each session consists of two days and the sessions are spread out throughout the year. Approximately three weeks prior to the session, classes are shortened to allow for a two-hour planning session with their coach. Each coach will have approximately twenty students. Coaches will stay in their category as the students rotate through the sessions throughout the year. Underclassmen groups will be provided with additional coach support.

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During each session, students will be expected to complete a hands-on project or group research associated with that session's theme. Each cadre of coaches will design a rubric that includes an outcome that will be assessed at the conclusion of each session. Underclassmen will participate in activities that are more structured and prescribed on campus. By the time the students are seniors, they should be able to create their own learning experience within the guidelines established by the coaches of the various themes.

Students will be enrolled in a local elective each year. This elective will not count as an Academic Elective or a General Elective. Instead, this course will be in its own category. Students are required to reach a mastery of 80% on each of the four themes in order to received credit for the course. The course will be posted on the transcript with either a pass or fail designation. The student's coach will be responsible for assessing the required assignment at the conclusion of each session.

Build something.
When students participate in this theme, they are challenged to build something in groups of three to five. The coaches will have a number of predesigned projects from which students can choose. As students move through the high school years, they will be better equipped to design their own challenge. Projects may involve wood working, mechanical engineering, electronic components, computer coding, cardboard, and more. Donations will be solicited for supplies and students will be asked to provide some basic supplies.

Investigate something.
During this theme, students will investigate a national or global concern. Topics could include homelessness, gun rights, gay marriage, legalization of certain drugs, health care, and more. Coaches will help students clarify a question and focus their research. Students could interview lawmakers and/or those affected by the decision as well as research current laws and proposed policies in order to gain a full understanding of the issue. The final product will demonstrate a deep understanding of the chosen issue.

Give something.
One of the hallmarks of a Gray Stone graduate is service. During this theme, students will gain a better understanding of their place in the world by helping others. During the freshmen year, students will participate in a Service Plunge and begin planning of their service project. During the sophomore and junior year, students will perform service on or off campus which will hopefully be directly related to their service project. Coaches will check in with students during this time to advise and mentor for the purpose of service project completion. Additional service outside of these designated times will be required to complete the project. During the senior year session, students will present their service project work to a panel of community members.

Experience something.
Creating an opportunity for students to try things they wouldn't normally be able to do was an in initial goal of these non-traditional learning opportunities. Maintaining that with DIVE days is important. Coaches will offer a variety of experiential opportunities during these sessions. Students can choose to participate or create their own opportunity within the constraints set by the coaches. Students also have the opportunity to job shadow or do some career exploration.

Teacher assignments
Teachers and other participating staff will be assigned to one of the four themes. Every effort will be made to match staff with desires and preferences. Each group of teachers will be responsible for establishing the guidelines and grading expectations for the products required for their theme. Six of the teachers in each group will remain with that theme throughout the year. The remaining teachers will rotate with either the freshmen or the sophomores to support the coaches in each theme.

Product and Grading
Each theme will have an established rubric and expectations that all focus on the development of a required product or outcome. These requirements will be governed by the staff assigned to that theme and approved by the administration. Students will create some type of product associated with the learning objectives for each theme. The coaches for each theme will be responsible for assessing the learning for their theme.

Regular classes during DIVE days
Classes will halt prior to DIVE days and resume after the days are completed. No outside classwork for regular classes should be expected during the DIVE days and no assignments can be due the day following.

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