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The Commons High School Programs

Two high school students standing in a stream sampling the water for aquatic organisms

Quick Facts

Up to 12 High School Students

9am-3:15pm M, T, & Th, F

8am-12:30pm "Half Day Wednesday" (Extended day options available)

Three high school students standing in a stream sampling the water for aquatic organisms


The school will carefully curate a cohort of up to 15 students who will be supported by several teachers throughout the school year as they use Project-Based Learning and Expeditions to explore the 6 Cs:

  • Collaboration
  • Communication
  • Content
  • Critical Thinking
  • Creative Innovation
  • Confidence

(As outlined in Becoming Brilliant by Kathy Hirsch-Pasek & Roberta Michnick Golinkoff)

A high school student behind a tree sitting on a rock recording data in her journal and holding a water sample from the stream behind her in her hand


Thank you so much for your excitement! We will be taking applications soon for the 2024-2025 school year. We look forward to working with you.

More Information on the 6 Cs

Within each of these 6 competencies are clusters of standards that are determined by the staff for each emergent project. The standards may reflect Common Core State Standards, local NH school district standards, as well as standards developed within the classroom community.

These competencies are explored in three physical spaces within the school: Socratic Space, Tinker Lab, and Outdoor Classroom. Of course, learning does not only occur at school, and parents are welcome to add to the child’s digital portfolio at any time!

What tools will be used to support the mastery of these competencies?

The staff's training on Project Based Learning (PBL) comes from the Buck Institute for Education (BIE), the "gold standard" in PBL. One great challenge to this kind of self-reflection work is that students don't often practice thinking critically about these competencies. Metacognition, or "thinking about thinking" needs to be taught and frequently practiced. We will help students practice these skills by doing structured protocols from Visible Thinking Routines in the classroom (Harvard Project Zero). The teachers will be trained to initiate these routines throughout the day in order to encourage higher-order thinking skills during real-life conversation among peers. Combining these protocols, conversations with students, teacher-created rubrics and real-time, authentic portfolios, a child's progress is able to be monitored and supported.