Vistamar Experience

Off-Campus Exploration

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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

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

    Students in each grade 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, get outside their comfort zones, and be challenged.

    Ninth graders get to know each other during their retreat, which takes place in the first month of the school year. They take part in group activities that challenge them to work together as a team. They also challenge themselves independently through activities such as an alpine tower experience.

    For tenth graders, emphasis is on reconnecting and refocusing. 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 take time to reflect on their past two years and begin to begin to focus more on their leadership roles. It also is a great time to reconnect with friends, share tales over a campfire, and enjoy nature.
  • 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

    Most years, Vistamar offers trips over spring and summer breaks. The 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.
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