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Learning Beyond The Walls

The learning that takes place everyday between teachers and students is, of course, essential to develop the minds of our students.  In a personalized educational platform, we are witnessing students advocating for their own learning opportunities and being active decision makers in their learning.  There is nothing more powerful than watching our learners evolve in this way and it is a skill that will definitely transcend into their future goals and aspirations.  

During this evolution, our students have demonstrated that learning extends far beyond their classroom walls.  Through a variety of platforms like blended opportunities, passion projects, empathy initiatives, and community based activities, our students have started to actively  explore new and exciting learning opportunities. Designing, creating, and connecting in meaningful work makes a lasting impression on students and truly ignites their minds, challenges them to problem solve, and develops essential future ready skills for life beyond graduation. 

Genius hour is a strategy that some schools are implementing to develop these skills in students.  Students are given time within a week to explore or connect with something they want to know more about. While this time may appear to be less structured than school should be, students are actively engaged, collaborating, questioning, and critically thinking on a regular basis. It is truly exciting for teachers and students.

Internships at the upper grade levels are providing students with invaluable experiences with experts in a field of interest.  Working side by side with professionals provides students a real world experience which could not be replicated during a typical school day.  Our students have experienced a variety of internship opportunities in the skilled and professional trades. Some students have used the experience as a direct pipeline to employment, while others have decided they need to explore other career fields, either experience is time well spent.

It is such an exciting time in our schools.  By centering on students and keeping their priorities at the forefront of the learning process, we are connecting with learners in deep and meaningful ways and supporting their growth both academically and emotionally.

Diane Mankins


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