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Justin

Take it a step further:

why are young people isolated in schools for much of their life anyway? What advantage does it give them to be in their own little isolated environment, separated from the real world?

Why did I, and many of my peers, sit in class wondering what relevance being in X class had to do with my life, with the real world (course, at the time, it consisted of sports, movies, and video games...but it didn't have to be).


We really need to start integrating young people into our society: give them responsibilities, let them work/intern, and make them excited about education.

Why don't we have a school system that lets students choose what kind of focus area they want to pursue when they get to the later stages of high school? There currently is so much apathy in 17 & 18 year olds mainly because there seems no point to the whole endeavor.. this is a country where you 'survive' high school - forget actually learning anything!

I am highly in favor of a European-style system where students pursue their interests, that give them a high degree of advancement (and a fair amount of specialization) in the field they are interested in.

Our community colleges could start to include more programs for 16, 17 & 18 year olds, maybe replacing high school in many situations, and allowing students to pursue interests/careers in music, business, finance, engineering, architecture, medicine, etc... the possibilities are endless.

Why let them rot in overcrowded schools, doing drugs & alcohol because they are bored to death?

Our young people really need to be challenged.

Right now we are stuck with an educational system premised upon getting little certificates all along the way... high school, 4-year college, etc... which has ended up being tremendously inefficient & expensive; look how much the average person owes in student loans after graduating!

Justin

The point of above post, of course, was that mixed-use developments at a high school would give a great opportunity for businesses interested in working with the community, or small community college like offices to open up... providing students with additional classes they could take, internship possibilities, etc...

It may also make small schools more financially feasible, who knows?

joe

you might want to consider the security risks of such an adventure, there is a reason why schools are stand alone buildings.

Brian

Joe, you make a fair point about security. But I also don't think it's an insurmountable problem.

Even beyond schools, I think this touches upon a broader notion of how we view land. If we Portlanders are truly committing to high density, then we have to get used to in our minds the opportunities that exist in going vertical. Schools are but one example of a wide range of cash-strapped institutions that should take full advantage of the land underneath them. If fact, to do so is almost silly. That doesn't mean there wouldn't be a lot of roadblocks along the way. But I still argue that a high-density environment like Portland has committed itself to becoming demands a greater mixture of uses on each particular site.

Mike Conroy

I could only hope that the apartments where pretty sound proof.

I do like the idea of having a school/community center and what if the kitchen/caffeteria combined with a culinary arts program and also be a bakery? Schools in Portland have been going through major changes anyway, why not give the kids some practical experience as well as academics? maybe local businesses could partner with schools and create win win situations. Portland nursery could help with the horticulture program and sell student raised plants, wyden and kennedy could start a design and architectural program, grand central baking and stumptown could invest in a culinary training center/cafe. Art teachers could teach and sell their wares in street level studio/boutiques.. students could also participate and get experience with the business aspects of art. maybe have a bike repair shop that gives them practical know how and connect them to the community while making some extra pocket change. there are a lot of possibilities. Yes, community centers and school sounds pretty cool. we definitely need more swimming pools in this town.

Justin

Security concerns? The school buildings could still be stand alone, but just have additional buildings stand right next to them.

When I grew up and went to high school, we had an open campus and all 800 students invaded the local community to buy lunch at the grocery store and pizza joints. Worked much better than locking everyone up... and probably released a lot of stress and prevented any Columbine stuff going on.

Ned

Joe does bring up an important issue related to school security. I was down in Springfield a couple of years ago leading a delegation of Japanese educators interested in crime prevention through environmental design. We made a visit to a middle school there designed to allow public access to area like the library and gymnasium during and after school hours. If I remember correctly, they had big sliding doors that would section off parts of the school – restricting access to areas used by students. They also had a central entrance, forcing visitors during school hours to pass before a receptionist.

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