When learning is Personalized and Relevant, students will be Engaged and prepared for Postsecondary success. This is the theory of action behind PREP, an innovative, holistic approach to learning designed by educators in Portland Public Schools’ alternative high schools. PREP schools integrate project-based instruction with career connected learning experiences and social emotional support to remove barriers for underserved students and create enlivening learning opportunities for all students.
Aligned with our district’s vision, PREP’s ultimate goal is for all students to graduate from high school as compassionate critical thinkers, able to collaborate and solve problems and prepared to lead a more socially just world.
Study finds lower rates of absenteeism in PREP schools relative to statewide comparison group
Findings from Education Northwest's independent evaluation of PREP implementation in 2020-21 and 2021-22 point to the power of embedded school social workers and project-based, career-related learning in PPS' alternative high schools. PREP supports and activities likely kept more students connected to school (relative to comparison sites) during school years most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and our nation's renewed reckoning with systemic racism. They not only supported individual students but also contributed to schoolwide capacity for healthy relationships and thriving cultures that prioritize empathy, communication, and a holistic student-centered ethos.