Innovation in Action

5th graders doing a science experiement

Spring Lake Park Schools has implemented a science specialist learning model at grades K-6. There is a new curricular resource for science at grades K-8, and new science competencies are guiding science learning. The goal is to support deep thinking and doing science, relate it to real life and ignite interest and engagement in science.

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Staff member Jan Burda working on a STEM project with two students

Competency-based learning is an education-y mouthful of words for an approach to learning coming to life in real ways for Spring Lake Park Schools’ students. The focus is on developing each student’s knowledge and skills to gain proficiency versus simply covering a subject for a defined period to fulfill a requirement.

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A student and teacher talking in the classroom

Kindergarteners chant each others’ names in morning greeting. Third and fourth graders learn what kind of candy they each like (split between sour and chocolate). High schoolers share adventures they’d like to have and qualities they value in a friend. Across schools and classrooms everyone is getting to know each other.

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