"Reading, math and science are the foundations of student achievement. But to compete and win in the global economy, today’s students and tomorrow’s leaders need another set of knowledge and skills. These 21st century skills include the ability to collaborate and communicate and analyze and address problems. And they need to rely on critical thinking and problem solving to create innovative solutions to the issues facing our world. Every child should have the opportunity to acquire and master these skills and our schools play a vital role in making this happen.”
- MICHAEL DELL, CEO, Dell Computers, Inc.
ScholarShift is an approach to learning for older students that is unique to Shattuck-St.Mary’s Schools. In developing this program, we wanted to prepare our students for their transition into the independence and self-directed learning that happen in college, and to develop in our students the “twenty-first century skills” they will use in college and beyond.
In addition to our rigorous academic core program, SSM-FC High School students will apply their learning in highly relevant, real world contexts that can include internships, self-designed projects in our weCreate space, the development of new skills or deeper learning in an area with a teacher mentor.
ScholarShift begins in grade 10 with students taking English (and any other classes where they have been accelerated into a grade 11 class) in a “blended learning” model. Students will attend their Math, Science, Social Studies and Modern Languages following a traditional schedule that meets every day. In a blended class, the student will attend regular classes on Tuesday and Thursday, but on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, though class is scheduled, they will only meet with their teacher on an as needed basis. Instead, students will study learning targets independently through video based lectures or other activities given to them online by their teacher, but under the close supervision and support of their teachers and advisor. While class will be scheduled and students can meet with their teacher if needed, they may also spend some of their class time engaged in other academic pursuits through the completion of short project-based learning experiences called modules. Modules give students the opportunity to develop their creativity, innovation, collaboration skills and design skills while still being held accountable for meeting our rigorous learning standards in all subjects.
In grade 11, students study all of their courses using the blended model, and will complete a series of modules that creates an ePortfolio of their learning. Modules fall under the realms of “learning about myself”, “learning a new skill”, “weCreate”, and “learning about outside the arch”. The goals of the modules are to broaden students’ knowledge, to apply their core learning in new contexts, and to develop their readiness for their grade 12 project. In addition to being taught and tested on their regular learning targets, students will also develop independence, time management, collaboration, responsibility, and presentation skills. All critical skills for study in university and the the workplace of the future. Students success in their academic subjects will still be carefully monitored and students will be given additional instruction where necessary to ensure their success.
In grade 12, students will use their blended time to design and complete an independent project. Past projects at our Faribault campus have included working with an architect mentor in our weCreate architecture, studio learning about design and 3D printing, interning as engineers or studying video editing. Through mentorship by an advisor, reflection and synthesis, students will be better prepared for the responsibility and independence of college and have the opportunity to explore deeply in an area they are passionate about.
ScholarShift allows for deeper learning and work on a long-term project and develops powerful “soft skills” such as independent learning, collaboration, planning, organization, flexibility, adaptability, creativity and problem solving while still being supported and held accountable to meet our rigorous core academic standards.
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