School Innovation Seminar

The School Innovation Seminar is an opportunity for Burlington High School students in grades 10-12 to envision and participate in the school change process. In this elective course, students explore how people learn, what helps real learning happen, and what kinds of learning environments, opportunities, or systems best meet the needs of all learners.

Seminar students guide and contribute the work being done to make our schools more student-centered in a number of ways. They serve as consultants to educators and community partners who work with youth, design prototypes for 21st century learning, and pilot innovative practices, from personalized learning to proficiency-based assessment.

Along the way, students play an active role in designing their curriculum, creating a collaborative classroom culture, teaching, and determining how to assess their learning. The course requires full engagement with complex ideas, but for those willing to challenge themselves and one another, it provides a rich opportunity for reflection, growth, and agency.

A Vision for the Future

In its inaugural year, the School Innovation Seminar brought student voice to school change in new ways. Seminar students presented their learning to peers, educators, family members, and community partners at a culminating event in May 2014.

Leena Unger, who organized the event as part of her final project, welcomes guests.


Annika Freudenberger and Xander Long present their project, a Student Consultants Program, which will allow Seminar students to deepen their learning next year.


Sequoia Young shares her learning in the outdoor classroom she designed and constructed.


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