Wake County Public School System officials are considering what some may see as an unorthodox method to persuade high school dropouts (as well as those at risk of dropping out) to return to school. At a district student achievement committee meeting on Monday afternoon, the idea was presented to go door-to-door to appeal to those who have dropped out of school and to create a special curriculum to help them stay in school this time around.
The Wake Acceleration Academy would include projects and tailored learning plans that would promote collaborative learning. The goal for district officials would be to have three academies with a total of 750 students by fall. According to the district’s assistant superintendent for academics Tom Wirt, due to having more data regarding students’ needs officials are more aware of how to make the curriculum benefit the students.
One of the methods that would be used to promote better learning habits would be changing the environment. For example, in Florida and Washington there is an acceleration model being used in which teaching takes place in a more relaxing environment that has couches or a café rather than having a desk.
Wirt attempts to paint a verbal picture of the learning environment by saying:
“You walk in a big commons area. There might be five or six kids there, meeting with a teacher. Study groups off to the side where you would have small groups of students. Flexible hours, self-paced, one-on-one assistance. So it doesn’t have that feel of the high school setting.”
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