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Schoolwide Enrichment Model

ISM student gets up during SEM surfing classThrough SEM, a unique and popular feature of our curriculum, parents and members of the community join the ISM staff to offer interactive workshops to small groups of 8-20 students for 85 minutes on a series of six Friday afternoons each trimester. These hands-on SEMs—designed by the instructors to share their passion for learning in specific areas—let students creatively explore interests that are not part of the regular school curriculum.

SEM arose from educational theory on how to best connect with and motivate gifted and talented students. ISM applies the model to all students in the belief that every child is gifted and talented in some way, and that part of our responsibility as educators is to unleash each student’s unique abilities to engender a lifelong passion for learning.

SEM topics cover various languages, cultures, crafts, sports, music and dance genres, service areas, and more. Last year, students had the chance to surf, build real-world solutions through “rapid prototyping,” hula, tend our school garden, learn jujitsu, create digital stories, participate in moot court, and much more. While most SEMs take place on campus, some like surfing take students off campus every week, and many others include one or more excursions.


SEM Objectives

Students will…

  • „  Engage in high-interest areas of learning not typically included in a school curriculum.
  • „  Learn from SEM instructors who share a passion for their subject and for lifelong learning.
  • „  Further recognize and develop their unique gifts and talents through their SEM experiences.


SEM Support

ISM thanks the Monterey Peninsula Foundation Youth Fund for generously providing a grant toward the purchase of critical supplies and materials for SEM classes.


SEM Teaching

Got a passion? Teach a SEM! The success of this program lies in having interested parents/guardians, grandparents, community members, and other educators join our own staff to develop and deliver learning around the things they love. So, please make a difference for kids by sharing the things you love. Simply fill out a SEM Proposal. If six weeks sounds too long, or you can't commit to every week, consider creating or requesting to become part of a teaching team.

Last updated February 15, 2018 by director