Middle School to Launch Learning Pathways

posted Feb 19, 2014, 9:16 AM by webmaster district   [ updated Feb 19, 2014, 9:17 AM ]
WATERLOO — DeKalb Middle School will introduce two new educational pathways for the 2014-15 school year for seventh-and eighth-grade students, school officials said.

Last fall, middle school students participated in a survey to help determine their preferred learning styles. The results indicated nearly 50 percent of the students prefer a project-based learning approach, while the other 50 percent prefer more guided instruction.

“We have a responsibility to respond to what our students told us,” school administrators said in a letter sent to parents last week.

The school’s two new pathways will be named Fusion and Legacy. Curriculum in both pathways will continue to align with Indiana Common Core State Standards. However, the methods by which content is delivered will be targeted to match students’ learning styles

The Fusion pathway will focus on project-based instruction with an emphasis on using technology. The Legacy pathway will work to build students’ leadership and communication skills.

Incoming sixth-graders will continue to be placed on one of two sixth-grade teams, as in the current practice.

“It’s an acclimation year,” Principal Kimberly Fifer said about the sixth grade.

Based on their learning styles, as recognized by their teachers and themselves, each student will be placed on either the Fusion or Legacy pathway for the seventh- and eighth-grade years.

Fifer said all students will receive the same education in subject areas and opportunities to take pre-Advanced Placement courses, advanced math courses, high school credit courses, band, choir, electives and other extra-curricular activities.

Article from The Star on Monday, February 17, 2014 - Written by KATHRYN BASSETT