Telluride High School's Intensive Study Programs

By Kris Holstrom

Greenhouse Oh to be a student again at the Telluride High School. Like many of my age, I sometimes get nostalgic about past, but it is the present at THS I find truly exciting. Since Fall 2008, the Telluride High School has been offering ISPs or Intensive Study Periods, a two-week immersion into a subject chosen by the student. ISPs are a chance at hands-on, experiential learning designed to integrate learning styles and subject matter.

ISPs start on September 27, 2010. The list of options follows.

School Food System: Analyze the school food system, evaluate effectiveness of the lunch program and sustainable practices, Visit educationally relevant sites such as the Illium transfer station, Tomten Farm, James Ranch, Turtle Lake Refuge and Durango Schools, research greenhouse construction along with funding opportunities, and implement school composting and greenhouse/garden.   (Yup ā€“ this is the one Iā€™m working on.)

Conservation: Working with government officials and experts, students map Telluride's Valley Floor using GPS technology to 'tag' four primary features: 1) prairie dog holes; 2) noxious weed clusters; 3) potential historical sites, and; 4) beaver expansion in the wetlands area. The goal: generate a reliable database that can be used by town planners in developing a master plan for the Valley Floor.

River Biology/Fly Fishing:  The main focus of this ISP is to learn about the science and art of fly fishing. The goal is to help develop a love for this pastime within our students while teaching them about a particular riparian system.. Learn about the equipment necessary for fly fishing, about river flows, and biology of rivers, the life cycles of trout, casting practice, and some local fishing. We are hoping to have our own mini-cuisine ISP with some fresh trout from some of the local high altitude lakes.

Immigration Study: Learn immigration first from a human perspective. Students hear stories from an immigrant panel, discover how cultural misunderstandings occur through a simulation, and learn about asylum. They explore the history of immigration with a visit to the local cemetery and by researching their own family tree. Finally, students will look at what is happening with United States policy today and speak with lobbyists. The goal is to invoke reflection on current issues in immigration while enlivening the subject through real people, make personal connections, gain knowledge about current challenges and create an opportunity to open up to new and different relationships.

Building and Trades ISP:  In this intensive hands-on experience, meet with local architects and contractors and help them build a portable, temporary greenhouse for the School Food ISP. Students will have a chance to apply their own ideas while designing and fabricating their own structure completely finished with walls, paint, flooring and any other building materials they feel are needed to finish their creation with professional quality.

Newly Created ā€“ Comedy ISP: Andy Konigsmark and Sandy McLaughlin help students explore the world of comedy. They will increase their skills in public speaking and performance as they explore (and practice) what makes things funny in our society.

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