Since 2003, GetOutAndLearn has offered an academic alternative to students who are chronically truant from San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) high schools. Today, GetOutAndLearn is housed at Downtown Continuation High School and is a semester-long program serving nearly 50 youth each year. The Dropout Prevention office of the SFUSD refers the majority of students at Downtown. Edward Cavanaugh, a teacher and outdoor educator, directs GetOutAndLearn with the help of an advisory council made up of local educators and concerned community and business leaders.
GetOutAndLearn embraces the philosophy of Experiential Learning where the learning process is one in which the learner cannot sit idly by or watch from a distance. We pursue activities that reward involvement where students must take an active role or be faced with consequences that he/she will find unpleasant. The students who come to GetOutAndLearn have not succeeded in the traditional high school setting due to a variety of factors such as truancy, incarceration, lack of credits and pregnancy. These students are from diverse backgrounds and are at-risk of dropping out and not graduating from high school.
GetOutAndLearn is unique and innovative in that it provides meaning and context to the lives of youth on which school has had little valuable impact or effect. GetOutAndLearn promotes cooperative learning and respect in all participants and breathes new life into antiquated education models. It is based on a long history of experience, sound pedagogical theories and collaborative models of youth development.
GetOutAndLearn is non-profit project of the Tides Center