At Acera, our goal is to create a learning environment in which students can become the best version of themselves, given each students’ unique capacities, needs, and passions. At the heart of this effort is a student’s Individual Learning Plan (ILP).
ILPs are living documents providing a customized runway for learning – offering choice and voice – that engages each child both as part of a school community and in a way that honors their own capacities and interests. The plans include a summary of the student’s Areas of Strength, Opportunities for Growth, and Individual Goals, and are adjusted year to year accordingly to reflect each child’s growth and development.
In the video below, hear from Acera School Founder & Director Courtney Dickinson, Core Classroom Teacher David Fodaski, and an Acera student on how ILPs help students become the best version of themselves.
For example, one student’s writing goal may be to develop learning strategies for critical reading and literary analysis, which then strengthens their own writing. Another student in the same class may need to establish proficiency in writing by utilizing literary conventions, such as grammar, spelling and mechanics.
The process begins with a low-stress standardized assessment in math and reading at the start of the year. Shortly after, teachers hold listening conferences with parents, and then gather as teams – core teachers, counselors, and specialists – to draft a plan with high engagement, project-based learning experiences that interweave systems and critical thinking with learning and practice of essential skills.
Plans are also designed to foster a student’s sense of belonging and connectedness within the Acera community. One student, for example, may be encouraged to grow her confidence as a leader and public speaker, focusing on her willingness to take the risk of being “seen” in the broader community.
Complementing the Individual Learning Plans are Acera’s narrative report cards, which – rather than a single grade – are a comprehensive summary of each student’s progress towards their own learning goals. Year over year, ILPs provide kids with unbounded access to learning, offering every student opportunity according to their ability, not age!
Interested in applying to Acera? Come to one of our upcoming Parent Information Sessions.