What makes a Purnell education unique?
At Purnell, students have the opportunity to explore, expand, and engage their strengths. Purnell's signature programs engage students in learning within and beyond the classroom, building on their strengths and passions. Whether it is attending a Career Speaker presentation for the Affinities Program, traveling to Africa for Project Exploration, or working towards a Specialized Diploma for work in the Studio and Performing Arts, Purnell offers an education that is unparalleled.
Project Exploration is a hands-on, project-oriented mini-term scheduled during February and March of each year for two and a half weeks, 6 to 10 hours a day. During their junior or senior year, students have the opportunity to expand their global awareness through intensive travel abroad trips designed around interdisciplinary themes focusing on community service, in-depth cultural and language studies, and environmental science and sustainable living. Students who remain on campus explore a particular topic or creative art form in depth. The program concludes with a Project Exploration Showcase, where students display their work and give presentations to the rest of the school and outside community. Courses vary each year.
Purnell's award-winning Affinities Program stems from the belief that building on a student's unique strengths is the best way to help her grow into the person she was meant to become. This program focuses on integrating the ninth grade students into the strengths-based community at Purnell, and offers continuous follow-up for tenth, eleventh, and twelfth grade students in order to guide them during their high school careers and lead them to a successful path in college. The program incorporates real life career education through summer internships, our Career Speakers series, and Diversity and Wellness seminars with the belief that "You don't go to school to be better at school; you go to be better at life."
Specialized Diploma Program
Our newest signature program, the Specialized Diploma Program, allows students to explore and expand their strengths in the creative arts within and beyond the classroom. Students who complete the program requirements will graduate with a Creative Arts designated diploma in addition to the traditional high school diploma. Students will leave Purnell with a portfolio of high-quality work as a foundation for further study in the arts. We will be adding additional programs next year; possible programs will include global studies and equine studies.