Spring Lake Park Schools Online in an iPad

Spring Lake Park Schools is expanding its online school to all grades, K-12, for the 2021-2022 school year. 

For 13 years, Spring Lake Park High School students have had the option to learn full-time online. A year of learning through the pandemic has created an interest in the next phase of our district’s approach to online learning – an expansion of our online school to all grade levels, K-12, for the 2021-2022 school year.

“We have experience now at all grade levels to create a really exceptional learning experience online for families who choose it,” says Hope Rahn, the district’s director of learning and innovation. “With families asking about online options for next fall, this is the right time to expand.”

The experience

At SLP Schools Online, students develop both academic and life competencies aligned to state standards. They cover the same concepts as their in-school peers but tailored to an online environment. The Spring Lake Park Schools’ focus on personalized learning translates to the online environment with learning specific to a student’s strengths, interests and needs.

“All of the learning in our online school is facilitated by Spring Lake Park Schools teachers – learning advocates - who have extensive experience teaching online and are aligned to our district vision and commitment to personalizing learning with students,” says Hope.

The K-8 school experience is customized to small groups of learners and includes opportunities for content area learning and interdisciplinary, project-based experiences. A blend of “live” learning and independent work is tailored to each small group of learners. Learning advocates, meet regularly with students and families to design learning, facilitate individual and small group work, assess progress and determine next steps.

The high school experience provides more choice in the time, place, path and pace of learning. Teachers facilitate learning primarily through asynchronous, “on demand,” learning experiences with some virtual “live” sessions and small group learning experiences. A learning advocate checks in regularly with students and families on progress and to provide direct support.

Each student at Spring Lake Park Schools is issued a technology device (iPad). Online learners also continue to have access to support services, including social workers, school psychologists, English as a second language and special education teachers.

SLP Schools Online is open to any student who lives in Minnesota at no additional cost.

Interest to drive next steps

At a time when many online schools are cropping up, the Spring Lake Park Schools experience reflects a few key elements unique to the district.

“We’re a district focused on personalizing learning to the learner – and that extends to our approach for our online school,” says Hope. “We also know learning must be supported by learning advocates who know each student deeply and can work closely with each of them and their families.”

Information sessions for families who express interest in SLP Schools Online as an enrollment option for 2021-2022 will be scheduled in May. Families are asked to complete an interest form to receive updates and invitations. Student and family interest will guide next steps.

“Throughout the pandemic, we kept improving and innovating. We’re taking the same approach with SLP Schools Online and using our SLP 3D design approach to create that next, better experience,” says Hope. “Working with families interested in this model of learning will help us continue to innovate for the students for whom this is a preferred model for learning.”

For more information and to complete an interest form, visit: SpringLakeParkSchools.org/Online