A local school was awarded a $10 million grant on Wednesday to become a super school in San Diego County.
Vista High School was declared one of the 10 winners out of 700 applicants for the XQ Institute’s The Super School Project. The goal of the project is to give all students an interactive, hands-on learning experience that they can apply outside of the class room.
"The Super School Project was born out of the conviction and commitment that every child from every background has a right to a quality education that prepares them for a future none of us can easily predict," said Russlynn Ali, Chief Executive Officer of XQ Institute.
The Super School Project was created by Emerson Collective in 2014 as part of President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Initiative. Participating high schools were asked to offer ideas and create models which challenge students to become critical thinkers to solve real world problems—as a form of the next level of high school learning.
The high school was selected after an 11-month application and evaluation process that began in March of this year.
A group of Vista High students created a model for a new learning platform which was submitted to XQ. After students put that platform to use this year, those who struggled in a traditional style of learning in the classroom are already seeing improvement.
"The statistics for the other kids, they’re going to grow tremendously because every student will be able to go through this new model,” said student Bella Rivera.
Rivera, a senior at Vista, played a major role in creating the model for the learning platform.
"Instead of just learning about it, we get to do something to make a change,” she said.
Although she will not be able to experience the model being implemented at the school, she said she is excited about the opportunities it presents for other students.
"I had no words honestly. I was just shocked,” she told NBC 7, speaking of the moment she found out that her school was a winner. “So, I'm just really excited to see what that's going to do for Vista High School."
Vista High School Prinicipal Anthony Barela said they are thankful for being chosen as the winner and excited for students to tackle issues outside of the classroom.
"Real world problems such as poverty, quality education and giving them the skill set to be change agents not only within our site, within our city, but worldwide,” he said.
The school will receive the $10 million over the next five years to implement the new learning model.