An Open Mind Builds New Skills

A key skill our students learn at Florida Prep is “Keep an open mind”, and building a knowledge base with experiences beyond their normal lives is one such way to achieve this.

It’s not easy, and often requires taking students away from the familiar into areas that are new to them and often out of their comfort zone, but we believe it is worth it.

One of the main elements of this process is the Florida Prep Experiential/Excursion Week (EEW). Now in its fourth year at Florida Prep the week-long program (March 9-13) allows students to explore and discover unique subject material, to develop new skills and to learn in a new environment outside the structure of the classroom.

From the Ecosystems of Florida to STEAM experiments and musicals, the choices are diverse and each student may choose a subject that not only appeals to them personally, but challenges their knowledge base, and sometimes, personal comfort level.

Each workshop is overseen by a Florida Prep faculty member and is treated as an individual syllabus. Students are expected to prepare reports on their activities during EEW, and to complete something of substance; be it written, personal development or skill, all of which are included as a graded score in their report cards.

For our juniors and seniors, this desire to ‘Build a knowledge base’ takes them into the workforce.  Students are embedded into local businesses encompassing a broad swath of skillsets; from technology to the media, aircraft design to healthcare and much in between. 

From the outset this process is challenging. Even before receiving a placement each Florida Prep junior or senior must first interview for a position.  They must present themselves to an employer as a new hire, aware of how to dress, time management and the many other skills required of a working person. It’s often stressful.  However, each day brings a new level of confidence that far exceeds anything that can be achieved in the classroom and it’s one of the most anticipated events during the year.

By challenging, nurturing and encouraging self-thought through activities such as EEW, the students at Florida Prep are building a skill set that not only encourages them to ‘keep an open mind’, but also prepares them for college,  the workplace and for life.