A committee of teachers and administrators presented an update to the Saline Area Schools “Vision Deck,” at the Dec. 12 meeting of the board of education.
The school adopted a slogan of “Student Led – Future Focused,” and the committee members talked about how to implement those values.
Some of the goals for the school district include making instruction more personalized while also keeping standards rigorous, creating a safe learning environment, allowing for student choices and self-directed learning, and creating flexible learning spaces that encourage collaboration and creativity.
They talked about how students benefit from a student-led approach. This includes allowing kids to try things and risk failure, giving children a voice and a choice, helping students take ownership of their school success, and a shift in agency, where kids are taking charge of their learning while the teachers serves as facilitator.
Julie Kelley, a fourth-grade teacher at Heritage School, along with fifth grader Nathanyel Sarment and fourth-grader Gabby Deveau, were asked to speak about what “student led learning” looks like in the classroom.
“Kids like student-led learning because there’s no busy work,” Kelley said. “Their work feels purposeful, because they assign it to themselves and learn at their own pace.”
Sarment says his favorite part of student-led learning is collaboration and building relationships.
Deveau said she thought student-led learning was especially helpful in math class, because often a pupil can explain a problem or concept to another pupil in a different, more accessible way than the teacher can. She added that she liked the concept of weekly team meetings, where pupils can point out problem areas and figure out how to make improvements.
The committee ended by talking about next steps to realize the school district’s goals, including communicating these goals and success stories through social media, developing partnerships with higher education, local businesses, and local experts, and earmarking monies to develop unique learning spaces.
See the attached PDF for more details about the vision Saline Area Schools have for the future of education in the district.