What is CAS?
real purposeful activities, with significant outcomes
personally challenging tasks that are achievable in scope
thoughtful consideration, such as planning, reviewing progress, reporting
reflection on outcomes and personal learning
All Brooklyn Friends School graduates complete Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) during 11th and 12th grade. CAS, which grew out of the International Baccalaureate program, aims to develop students as reflective thinkers who understand their own strengths and limitations, identify goals and devise strategies for personal growth. CAS students are willing to accept new challenges and new roles and are aware of themselves as a member of communities with responsibilities towards others and the environment. They are active participants in sustained, collaborative projects, and they are balanced – they enjoy and find significance in a range of experiences involving intellectual, physical, creative and emotional growth.
The emphasis is on learning by doing real tasks that have real consequences and then reflecting on these experiences over time.
CAS is student-directed, allowing students to determine what they are going to learn about themselves and others. Students are encouraged to work collaboratively to engage with issues of global importance and consider the ethical implications of their actions.
CAS experiences include a range of contributions to social justice and social change efforts that increase gender and racial equality, end discrimination of various kinds, and address stark income inequalities that characterize the U.S. and most of the world.
The three strands, which are often interwoven, are characterized as follows:
This aspect of CAS is interpreted as imaginatively as possible to cover a wide range of arts and other experiences outside the curriculum. This could involve doing dance, theatre, music, or taking on a leadership role and designing a service project.
Activity may involve participation experiences requiring physical exertion that contribute to a healthy lifestyle. This aspect of CAS can include participation in individual and team sports, physical activities outside of the normal curriculum, and physical activity involved in carrying out creative and service projects.
Service involves interaction, such as the building of links with individuals or groups in the community. The community may be the school, the local area, or it may exist on national and international levels. Students communicate and consult with the community or individual to determine needs prior to implementation. Service activities should not only involve doing things for others but also doing things with others and developing a real commitment with them. The relationship should therefore show respect for the rights, dignity and autonomy of everyone involved.