Vistamar Experience

Off-Campus Exploration

The Vistamar experience encompasses a wide variety of off-campus opportunities over each student’s four years of high school. From grade level retreats, spring and summer travel possibilities, to senior projects, all Vikings participate in experiential academic and recreational adventures. At Vistamar, we believe that being outside the classroom in new environments strengthens community, grows cultural awareness, and expands individual horizons. These opportunities are key parts of the total Viking experience.

List of 4 items.

  • Civic Engagement

    Community Engagement
    People Acting Cooperatively Together (PACT)

    Mission:  PACT will engage Vistamar students in meaningful and sustainable work that nurtures ongoing partnerships in local and global communities. We will foster in our students an openness to and respect for others as our community nurtures and grows ongoing and new partnerships off-campus. 

     PACT is currently a sophomore focused program and will grow next year to include both sophomores and juniors in off-campus service.  In 2019-20 we are expanding an existing partnership with Wiseburn School District. In previous years, Vistamar students have participated in faculty run programs and created new programs at one of the Wiseburn campuses; this year we will expand our service to three campuses. In the first trimester, PACT seminar meets once per week for a large group presentation followed by activities, reflection, and discussion in small groups with faculty advisors. In the second and third trimesters, students will participate in off-campus service during seminar afternoons. PACT seminars will also include speakers and service field trips.
     
  • Grade Level Retreats

    Students in grades 9, 10 and 11 all take part in one grade level retreat each year. Getting off campus for this overnight trip allows students the opportunity to get to know each other better, recharge their batteries, and get outside their comfort zones.

    Ninth graders get to know each other outside the classroom. They take part in group activities that challenge them to work together as a team. They also challenge themselves independently through an alpine tower experience.

    Tenth graders leave campus and have an overnight retreat. Reconnecting and refocusing are emphasized for students. They work with each other through a ropes course and team building activities. Hiking allows them to chat with each other while exploring the natural world.

    Eleventh graders retreat in late May. This is the time for them to reflect on the past three years and begin to take the reins of leadership they will have as seniors. It also is a great time to reconnect with friends, share tales over a campfire, and enjoy nature.

    For more information, contact Stephanie Garcia: StephanieGarcia@VistamarSchool.org
  • Senior Projects

    During the last three weeks of the school year, Vistamar seniors work in Los Angeles, across the U.S. and abroad on their capstone experience.  Students work with off-campus mentors exploring a vast array of personal interests, possible career paths, or something entirely new that they would like to explore. Evident in the following examples are the wide-ranging interests and talents of Vistamar students. We are focused on providing every senior with similar learning opportunities. Senior Project is a graduation requirement, and is graded as Pass/No Pass, or Pass with Honors.

    • Three weeks at Monticello giving tours of Jefferson’s home and working in his garden
    • Studying brewing at a local start-up brewery and practicing the science of microbrewing
    • Immersing themselves in legal work at various clinics in the LA area
    • Script-reading at a production company
    • Volunteering with the Bob Hope USO at Los Angeles International Airport
    • Shadowing and learning at Northrop Grumman- one student was offered an internship for the following summer after his freshman year in college
  • Spring Travel

    Each year, Vistamar offers trips over spring and summer breaks. Most trips have a service learning component integrated. The actual service depends on the location and community needs. In the past, students have worked in schools, done carpentry, spent time with seniors, dug irrigation ditches, poured concrete foundations and much more. Cultural immersion is also an important part of each trip. Students get to know local people, eat local food, and learn about different ways of life.

    Locations vary from year to year, and include domestic as well as international locations. Students on these life-changing trips have journeyed to Peru, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Panama, Ecuador, China, Montana, Mississippi, Baja, Puerto Rico, and the Southwestern US. Trips are open to all grade levels, and some supplemental needs funding is available.

    For more information, contact Stephanie Garcia: StephanieGarcia@VistamarSchool.org
Contact Stephanie Garcia at stephaniegarcia@vistamarschool.org for more information.
Vistamar School is a private independent high school in the South Bay region of Los Angeles.

Vistamar School