Program Overview

The Evolutions program will provide an educational environment for students to embrace their curiosity and take ownership of their learning. To this end we welcome all types of learners who are eager to consider new perspectives on themselves, their learning, and the world.  

Together we will tackle the rigorous task of building connections across the disciplines of Art, English, Math, Science, and Social Studies to illuminate the complexity of our world. Using this interdisciplinary and collaborative approach, our goal for students is to: synthesize a variety of learning experiences; think critically about the content and themselves; apply objective knowledge to formulate solutions to real-world problems; connect to community; communicate through creation, in writing, and by speaking to address unit themes.

Essential to our mission is a commitment to learning in the Wellesley community and the surrounding area through partnerships, site visits, and excursions. These place-based experiences are vital to the development of practical skills and contextual understandings, which encourage relevant and meaningful learning.  They’ll be expected to share their understanding with a broader audience through a combination of self-directed, collaborative, and teacher directed projects to demonstrate competency. Students and teachers alike will face educational challenges they may not have previously encountered to promote personal and intellectual growth. 

General Structure

  • Students: Evolutions is open to incoming juniors and seniors. We welcome all students.
  • Full Year: We are a full year program that meets every cycle day
  • Day to Day: The program runs the duration  with the school day with exception of the 7:30-8:30 block and one elective block Purple and/or Blue. The program will not be guided by the WHS bell schedule; instead, the curriculum of the current unit will dictate what each day looks like.
  • Lunch: If we are on-campus, then students will take lunch with the rest of WHS. If we plan to be off-campus, then lunch arrangements will be made.

Curriculum Continuity

  • English: Students will continue to work on their literacy skills for literature, poetry, non-fiction, and media. For writing, students will write for a variety of purposes and audiences with the goal of making them more effective communicators.  
  • Math: Junior students would come into Evolutions from Advanced or Intermediate Algebra during their Sophomore year. The current Junior offerings are complex, ranging from Personal Finance to Analysis to Pre-Calculus. Students would come out with recommendations from teachers regarding their individual next steps.
  • Science: Students will explore the essential tenets and skills from the physical sciences and engineering.  Junior students would come into Evolutions from Chemistry during their Sophomore year. The Senior students would come into Evolutions from Biology during their Junior year. Evolutions will meet the lab requirement for science.
  • Social Studies: Students will engage in many facets of the Social Studies, with the possibility of exploring a range of topics such as history, sociology, psychology, environmental studies, or political science.  Students will continue to build essential reading, writing, and research skills introduced in 9th, 10th, and 11th grades. 
  • Art: Students will use a variety of arts media and art making skills as a means for investigating curriculum content.

Credits, Leveling, and Grading

  • Students will receive honors credit for all of the individual disciplines and the core program because they are going to be asked to pursue and demonstrate learning in new complex ways that may be distinct from what they are used to and are most comfortable with.  Because Evolutions is not bound by the daily schedule, students will have many opportunities to seek out extra support, and teachers will have more opportunities to provide support. In this way, we hope that the education is more personalized to help students grow and make progress on their learning.
  • On the transcript it will show individual grades for the content areas within Evolutions (ex: Evolutions - Science; Evolutions - Social Studies; etc.) as well as a separate grade for the Evolutions program based on the program's core learning objectives.

Typical Homework and Assessments

We would like to redefine “homework” to “prep-work” in that students will have to do some work in order to be prepared to take part in the learning of the next day. Currently, students’ homework has them completing a variety of tasks for different subjects and going in different directions. In Evolutions, our hope is that the prep work is all moving in a common direction to give a sense of unity or commonality to the tasks. In terms of time, a best guess is between 1-2 hours. This also may change when the larger synthesis or individual projects are due.

Space and Groupings

One of the great abilities of Evolutions is to be flexible with our time and groupings. There will be times that the entire program is together, times that we are in multiple groups, times that we look more like a traditional classroom, times that we are in a couple groups of 10 and a couple groups of 30. Evolutions will utilize 2-3 regular classrooms as a "home base". There will be times where we would also use some more flexible spaces like the auditorium, black box theater, gym, cafe, or library when they are available to accommodate our students for larger activities or presentations. One of our goals is that student learn to be flexible and can walk into any learning situation and take part.
Subpages (2): FAQ Learning Objectives