Letter: PODS Charter Program Deserves Support
To the Editor-
Imagine an environment where students in 6th and 7th grades participate in hands-on learning focusing on different themes in a warm, energetic setting.
Point of Discovery, a recently approved charter school in Stevens Point, provides this opportunity. With a focus on academic learning and connection to Common Core State Standards, students learn all academic subject areas within this active learning environment.
Students will participate in community-based efforts positively affecting the area. The curriculum will have rigor, creativity, and differentiation in the assignments completed by students. This type of school environment is called an expeditionary learning school.
In addition to academic learning, students learn lifelong skills such as collaboration, responsibility for learning, empathy and caring, problem-solving, respect for others, and teamwork. Also, they will develop strong relationships/partnerships with their teachers.
Positive benefits have been reported. Other expeditionary schools report students having higher math and reading scores than with traditional models of teaching. Students demonstrate in-depth learning. Students become critical thinkers and collaborators. An added bonus is that costs have been lower with expeditionary schools.
Teachers and other staff also benefit because they experience on-going professional development. This continual learning is inherent in expeditionary learning. Using the curriculum in new, different, and exciting ways provides continuous professional growth.
In conclusion, the Point of Discovery School is an exciting endeavor for the Stevens Point Area School District with positive effects that will ripple through the Stevens Point community. Please join us in supporting the Point of Discovery School. Consider sending your sixth or seventh grader to this school for the 2015-2016 academic year.
Dr. Patty Caro, Associate Dean and Head of the School of Education, UW-Stevens Point, and Member of the Advisory Committee for Point of Discovery School
Dr. Marty Loy, Dean of the College of Professional Studies, UW-Stevens Point