Friday, February 13, 2009

Education in Apple Valley, Primary/Secondary

This is a little bit about how primary/secondary education work in Apple Valley.
Education in Apple Valley is very hands on. Currently, the education director owns the school. It is a community lot that stays closed. The director goes there whenever school is in session (he works in the education field as well, so right now we follow him to school M,W,F) and using Simlogical's Meeting Controller, calls the students and the other teacher to the school building.

The school day starts with the primary grades (K-5) working in a common room. They have to pass five skill exams with at least a one (have at least one skill point in five different skills, usually cleaning, cooking, mechanics, creativity and charisma). Since most of them come with the required skill points, they usually play and enjoy interacting with friends, drawing on the activity table or playing for recess. All students bring thier lunch from home (a single serving of a meal, usually lunch sandwiches, soups, or leftovers from dinner).

Junior high students work upstairs in thier room. They must pass seven skill exams with at least a one (at least one skill point in each skill). Any skill they are lacking they study on the computer, with lectures from the teacher (impart knowledge interaction) or interacting with different objects (painting for creativity, dancing for body, etc).

High school students must pass one skill exam with a score of six (six skill points in one skill), so most students chose an area to specialize in and then focus on building skills for that. Any skill they are lacking they study on the computer, with lectures from the teacher (impart knowledge interaction) or interacting with different objects (painting for creativity, dancing for body, etc). High school has two floors and a larger cafeteria with vending machines, for those who forgot thier lunch.

Grades and Skill Exams
Grades are assigned by rolls (11=A+, 10=A...3=C-, 2=D, 1=F), if a student doesn't pass a skill exam, then they fail by default. Students do not have to do homework, since there is no correlation to homework and grades. However, they are assigned projects thier last year of elementary/junior high/high school.

The skill exams are the bare minimum they need to pass to the next level. Of course, most high school students are going to try and have higher grades on thier skill exams in order to get into university (that's another post).

Classes and Field Trips
So what are the students doing if they're not working on skill points (since the requirements are so low) and are not doing assignments (like Simlogical's school hack). Well, they're exploring thier hobbies. Students take classes in different hobbies (painting, photography, pottery, etc) and even have field trips (the musuem for viewing art collections, the park for nature lessons and bird watching, etc).

I plan on having one of the play sessions being a field trip day, so that they can explore thier hobbies in more detail or get exposure. Some field trips planned include:

-Arts & Crafts: trip to the art musuem

-Film & Literature: Trip to the movies (an educational film of course), book discussions by local author

-Fitness: Trip to the park for a tai chi lesson or have a tai chi master come to the school for the lesson, trip to obstacle racing course for team building :P

-Music & Dance: Trip to the concert hall for behind the scenes of the dance company and orchestra

-Games: This is called recess :)

-Nature: Trip to the park for hiking, bird watching and bug collecting. Maybe even an overnight camping trip under the stars. Trip to the aquarium

-Cuisine: This is called lunch :)

-Science: Career Day at the medical center, trip to the observatory

-Sports: This is called recess :P

-Tinkering: Trip to the historical musuem

How does education work in your hood? Is it strictly MAXIS? MAXIS with a storytelling lot? Fully intergrated?


  1. Cool - I love reading about how other people set up education in their hoods. So your kids basically only go to school 3 times a week? I like the schedule you made for the younger kids and the teens. And oddly, I've never used that 'imparting knowledge' interaction. I like how you integrate that in your school.

    I follow Maxis schools for the kids and teens, but I make them go to a "Technological School" on weekends and when they have spring/summer break. It kinda works like yours except that it's more autonomous. I don't really have a set teacher right now - that can change of course.

    I don't have "field trips" per se but I do require all kids to go to the park and there's the option to go to museums, etc.

    I like the idea of formal school field trips though, but that'll have to wait till I have a dedicated teacher.

    The camping sounds great too- I really liked what Shana (Pine Hollow) did when she sent her school kids to a camping trip.

  2. -simstate, the kids go to school every simday, but I follow them to school only on MWF. I should let them have a spring and summer break though...hmm...


Thanks for reading and commenting!


Related Posts with Thumbnails