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Operation Education: New high school concept in Elkhart engaging students

Operation Education: New high school concept in Elkhart engaging students (WSBT Photo)
Operation Education: New high school concept in Elkhart engaging students (WSBT Photo)
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The entire Elkhart High School Arts and Communication's School of Study is putting on a show.

On Saturday, December 3rd, the Madrigal Singers and Orchestra will host a Madrigal Dinner theatre.

There will also be a market that anyone can attend.

The event is one day only but the lessons are long lasting.

Schools of Study

Elkhart High School began its Schools of Study model a couple of years ago.

The schools of study inside the high school are small learning communities that allow students to take classes that correspond to their interests and potentially prepare for their future careers.

One of the communities is the Arts and Communications School of Study.

“School of study, we like to say, has a flavor to it. So, in arts and communications our flavor deals with the arts. So, music, theatre, and art,” says Brittany Townsley, an English Teacher in the school of study.

What that means is, even in classes like math, reading and science, the “flavor” is Arts and Communications.

The school is using what's called problem-based learning to get all students involved.

“So, we try to get all classes involved,” says Townsley, “so it is not just art being involved or music but all of the school students and all of the teachers in the school of study.”

Entrepreneurial event

This semester, students in the Arts and Communications school are turning the 45th annual Madrigal Dinner into a huge entrepreneurial event.

The A and C Market will showcase work from school of study students and local vendors.

Senior Chyniah Woods plays the Queen in the Madrigal.

To prepare, she has been practicing the songs she and others will perform.

There is other preparation taking place as well.

Woods is in English Composition class within her chosen Arts and Communications School of Study.

She and other English Composition students have been writing and creating commercials to let people throughout the school community know it is happening.

“We have been preparing for the A and C Market and just trying to broadcast the commercials and all that,” says Woods, “it really helps you get ready for like, big boss moves. It gets you prepared for not having to rely on other people. You have teammates and stuff like that, but you can also do that on your own.”

Woods isn’t alone.

Nearly all classes within the Arts and Communications School of Study are participating in preparation for the Madrigal event.

  • Journalism students have been writing about it.
  • Digital design class has been making fliers and advertisements.
  • Metal working class has been making jewelry.
  • Painting and photographer classes have been working on projects as well.

All the art will appear in the A and C Market.

Attendees will also see local vendors as well.

“A lot of the students will have a booth available with their items for sale, so we have painting students, photographer students, jewelry students, and other visual communication students, but then we also opened it up to outside crafters as well,” says Townsley.

This means throughout the preparation and execution of the show, the high schoolers are getting real world entrepreneurial experience.

The idea is, no matter what they pursue after high school, what they've learned in their School of Study can be transferable to the professional world.

Madrigal and A and C Market

Some students know what they want to pursue as a career. Others are still trying to decide.

Woods wants to attend college in North Carolina and pursue dermatology and music theory.

She says, what she has learned over the past two years in the Arts and Communications School of study will help her in either direction she goes.

“It gets you prepared for the real world, especially me because I am trying to do music in the future and it helps me not being afraid to be who I am,” says Woods.

Tickets for the Madrigal are sold out.

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However, everyone can check out the A and C Market which is being held at the high school from 11:00am until 5:00pm.

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