WESTWOOD (CBS) – It’s an innovative way to end the school year. One local high school is capturing its students’ attention at a time when many of them are, shall we say, not focused on reading, writing and arithmetic.
Westwood High School calls it J-term. The J stands for June. For the last five days of the school year students get a unique, hands on learning experience.
In a school rehearsal room a group of novice musicians strikes up a version of “Born to Be Wild” in the So You Think You Can Rock class.
Down the hall at the pool there are scuba lessons, while around the corner they’re learning about Asian cooking.
Those are just some of the 34 courses Westwood High offers during the last days of the school year.
“It’s an opportunity for kids and teachers to explore something that might be outside the scope of the normal academic realm,” says assistant principal Nicole Haberman.
Some students are learning carpentry by building a storage shed for a Westwood elementary school while others are “Painting with a Purpose.” “We’re painting either for someone we know or someone at the Bridges in Westwood, the assisted living home,” says student Maeve Hutton.
Others are uncovering the mysteries of video games. “In this class we’re learning about video games, how they work, how to make them,” says Liam Dulla, another student.
Students choose which course to take and follow their own interests. “It’s been beneficial for learning and fun at the same time,” says student Matt DeAngelis.
“I really like it. And it’s good for students to get out of their comfort zone and try new things and meet new people,” says Anne-Marie Maughn, who is learning to play the drums.
This is the second year Westwood High School has offered J-term. Last day of school here is Tuesday.