Locating project-based high school at Sharp campus makes sense

The Camas School Board is considering the question of whether to locate a proposed project-based learning high school at the vacant Sharp Laboratories of America building. There are already plans to open a similar middle school program there in the fall.

After weighing benefits and potential drawbacks, the answer should clearly be a resounding “yes.”

Reasons to support the proposal include the fact that it will provide opportunities for middle and high school students to collaborate, ease overcrowding at the existing Camas High School campus, and be in close proximity to valuable partnerships that can be developed with surrounding industries. In addition, it would put to good use a building that has sat vacant for three years.

Yes, there are some drawbacks. Students who attend a project-based high school at the Sharp campus won’t have quick access to CHS teachers. And there will be transportation impacts as students are shuttled from one school to the other.

However, with planning and a little bit of patience, these are issues that can easily be dealt with.

The project-based learning middle school and high school will offer so many exciting and innovative opportunities for students.

According to Camas School District officials, “In a PBL classroom, students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an engaging and complex question, problem or challenge. Projects address content standards through an integrated approach and focus on additional success skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration and self-management.”

The project-based learning middle school and high school will be two more features to set the Camas School District apart from others, for all of the right reasons. The Sharp Laboratories of America building is the right place to house these innovative programs.