Life Skills & Enrichment

Para Español use el Google Translate enlace en la parte inferior izquierda de esta página. 
Use the Google Translate link on the bottom left of this page for multiple languages. 

Life Skills & Enrichment


Design Tech understands that an educated person is well-rounded and is one who, in addition to academic knowledge and problem-solving skills, develops practical life skills and pursues opportunities for enrichment in areas of interest.  As such, offers students courses and experiences beyond the academic and problem-solving curricula.  

The Visual & Performing Arts

 Asked to create a metaphor for the modern world for her Visual and Performing Arts credit, one sophomore created a ceramic heart with the image of a light-bulb suspended inside.

Asked to create a metaphor for the modern world for her Visual and Performing Arts credit, one sophomore created a ceramic heart with the image of a light-bulb suspended inside.

The Design Advisory is the primary elective course offered to students and it satisfies the requirement for a college prep elective.  Students can also satisfy the requirement for an elective in the visual and performing arts through concurrent enrollment and intersession. Concurrent enrollment at local community colleges, universities and online schools also offers students a wide variety of arts electives - free of charge.  


 The 'Money Talks' Intersession, lead by Wells Fargo personnel.

The 'Money Talks' Intersession, lead by Wells Fargo personnel.

Additionally, students participate in intersession courses. Four times a year, students take a break from their regular coursework and spend two weeks in elective courses taught by professionals. Design Tech partners with local organizations to deliver classes in subject areas that are of interest to our students. These may include topics such as art, music, theater workshops, tech classes, coding, service learning projects, cooking, independent study, and more. Dr. Wendy Little is the Intersession program lead. For insights into this years Intersession program, click here.

The Health & Wellness Program

The 4-year health and wellness program helps students become the best possible versions of themselves. They learn about topics in physical, emotional, mental, and social health and reflect on how they can use that information in their daily lives. Furthermore, they earn credit for physical education through an independent study program coordinated by our Director of Health and Wellness, Christy Knott. Christy has also been instrumental in building the whole-school camping trip, with the help of a team of dedicated students.

Financial Literacy

Financial literacy will be taught explicitly during the morning advisory period in modules throughout a student’s years at Additionally, students have the opportunity to apply and deepen their understanding of finance within the design advisory when they work to implement their ideas in the real world.  As students try to launch their solutions to problems in the community, they may need to consider some of the financial implications of implementation such as fund-raising, drafting budgets, tax status, etc.  Robert Bolt is the lead on Academic Partnership Development.

Study Skills & Work Habits

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Direct instruction in study skills and work habits is a part of the morning advisory and is also provided one-on-one for students as needed. It is critical that students develop the skills that will help them succeed as productive people in the adult world. 

Social and Emotional Skills

Students look at research and strategies from the fields of psychology and cognition to better understand how they can manage their emotions, focus, relationships, learning, and resilience. Empathy and compassion for others is a foundational component in building the community, and is strikingly relevant to designing solutions when faced with a real challenge. Each week at the Community Meeting, Dr. Montgomery recognizes spontaneous examples of empathy in the student body with the Empathy Warrior award. Recipients have been nominated by fellow students for acts of kindness, such as helping them when they've lost a wallet on the train platform, to comforting a peer, or helping a classmate to clean up.