Frequently Asked Questions


Does the PBL program cover the same state standards as Caledonia High School?
All of our projects are designed around state standards.  The PBL courses may cover a few less standards in order to develop a deeper understanding of key concepts and to incorporate 21st Century Skills.

Will students still have to take tests and quizzes? Yes.
While collaboration is an important part of completing projects, most of the student’s grade will be based on his or her own understanding of the content taught and his or her own demonstration of class content and 21st Century Skills.

If someone in a group does not do his or her part of the project, will it hurt another student’s grade?  In general, no.  
In PBL, most of the assessed work is individual assessment of mastery. Throughout the project, facilitators gather information that indicates the mastery level of each member. However, because group collaboration is a part of all projects, the way that students work together could affect the student’s grade.

Will Cal PBL students receive a different diploma and transcript? No.
However, Cal PBL graduates will receive a PBL seal on their diploma signifying the completion of a PBL program. We believe this seal will help students in college admission decisions.

What are integrated courses and how will they appear on a student’s transcript?
An integrated course is one course in which two subjects are taught and assessed together by two teachers as one fluid learning experience. Grades for integrated courses are reported separately on student transcripts. For example, while World History and ELA 9 are taught together, students receive a separate grade for each and they are reported separately on the transcript.

How will PBL students choose electives?  
Students will choose electives as all other students do and they are not restricted from any electives.  The only exception is that we do require students take a CHS World Language course rather than an online option.

If a student does not like the PBL program once school starts, can they switch their classes?
Yes, but we may not be able to accommodate this until after the first year. We respect that some people may find project and problem-based learning is not their preferred learning style, but we require that all students spend a full year working in it before deciding to leave. We require this for three primary reasons:

1) The beginning of the first year can be stressful for some students. We do not want anyone to make a rash decision they come to regret later.

2) Oftentimes other classes are full and creating a schedule full of non-PBL core classes may not be possible.

3) We believe there is value in keeping a commitment. Allowing students to leave early contradicts that belief.