CARLSBAD — Each year, local students have the opportunity to travel around the country and around the globe for academic, service and cultural experiences. The class trips are part of the academic curriculum at Pacific Ridge School.
Led by members of the faculty and staff, the travel programs are intended to strengthen understanding of the year’s curriculum and take learning beyond the classroom walls. Seventh-graders begin locally and seniors complete their Pacific Ridge education with the opportunity to travel anywhere in the world. Juniors and seniors have the option to participate in a school-sponsored experience, or design their own travel program using skills acquired on previous trips and during classroom instruction.
This year, seventh-grade students visited the Marin Headlands, underscoring an academic emphasis on life sciences. The eighth-grade class trip to Washington, D.C., built on a curricular emphasis on U.S. history.
This year, the ninth-grade class took on a trip to China that enhanced a year-long study of world history. Four different groups traveled to two distinctly different parts of China: the Dong region and the Tibet region. All students began in Beijing with an exploration of the city and Great Wall. Student activities ranged from subsistence farming, volunteering at a primary school and teaching English at a local high school, to home-stays, Chinese cooking lessons, and Tibetan dancing.
The 10th-grade class ventured to Northern Sierra to travel in the backcountry. Students went white-water rafting and backpacking in Yosemite National Park, and developed fundamental outdoor skills such as “leave no trace” camping ethics.
Juniors and seniors strongly emphasized service work. The students participating in school-sponsored travel visited South Africa, Chile, New Orleans, Bahamas, and Montana. Through partnerships with non-profit organizations and sister schools, the students’ service learning projects included tutoring, community rebuilding, and volunteering in orphanages. They visited locations including Australia, Belize, Northern Sierra, Haiti, Nova Scotia, Spain, India, and Ecuador.