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Continued: After a decade, Arcadia Charter School still has a passion for projects

  • Article by: ERIN ADLER , Star Tribune
  • Last update: October 15, 2013 - 2:27 PM

In September, the students create a social contract with one another, laying out ground rules for how they will work together, said Sarah Wallis, an art teacher.

And many students come specifically because of project-based learning, Wallis said. “I think it’s a huge draw for us. … There’s buy-in from kids. Kids like to do what they’re interested in.”

At Arcadia, seniors are required to complete a culminating project. Topics vary widely, and most are ambitious.

“With senior projects, our hope is that they’re working toward a passion,” Krominga said.

Tammy Prichard, a writing teacher whose son graduated from Arcadia last year, said her son’s project was on Peter Pan. He created a dying fairy sculpture with a light bulb inside, and researched the psychology of the “Peter Pan syndrome,” she said.

One student built his own cartooning table and animated his drawings, while another researched how to replant forests.

Another “huge thing that sets us apart,” Wallis said, is May term, during which students take a two- to three-week course on a specific — and sometimes quirky — subject. Last year, her May term class was on visual spectacles, including masks, puppets and parades.

Krominga said that many different kinds of students choose Arcadia for many different reasons.

“I would really say that [Arcadia] is for any kind of kid,” Krominga said. “It’s all about what structures you put in place to help a student succeed.”


Erin Adler • 952-746-3283


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