Q: What does an independent curriculum look like and what are its benefits for students?
A: “Instead of working toward a single test at the end, we want to make sure they have the opportunities for [growth],” says Kate Mueller, associate head of school at Western Reserve Academy. “For example, with science courses, we want to make sure they have enough time to do a lab and go into more depth, to have some projects, to be able to do some teamwork, and to be able to collaborate. The schedule is very collegiate and encourages independence and time management. It works with pacing some of the homework that’s due so they’re not, every night, preparing for six classes the next day. We’re paying attention to student stress and student wellness.