Courtesy photo
Pioche Elementary is piloting the Summit Learning program for its sixth graders this year.

By Collin Anderson

This last school board meeting, the board was able to greenlight a pilot program for Pioche Elementary, referred to as the Summit Learning Program.

According to a presentation given by Principal Stephanie Vincent, this is a project-based program that will better cater to the needs of each individual student. While the pilot program is being limited to sixth grade, the statistics shared during the presentation were promising, and if the program is successful enough, we could see this method of education implemented around the county.

“Summit Learning is a personalized approach to teaching and learning, inspired by the vision to equip every student to lead a fulfilled life,” Vincent said in an email to the Record.

Summit Learning was developed by Summit Public Schools over the course of 15 years, in partnership with nationally acclaimed learning scientists, researchers, and academics.

“Every single element of Summit Learning is grounded in what science tells us about how students learn best – from student outcomes to the design choices made in order to achieve those outcomes.

Summit Learning has three pillars to the student experience. The first is project-based learning, where students spend the majority of their time working alongside teachers and classmates on real-world projects.

The next pillar is one-on-one mentoring. Students meet weekly with a mentor to ensure daily actions and progress align with long-term goals.

And finally, the third pillar is individualized pathways, where students are empowered to set goals and deeply understand content by consuming it in a way that is best for them.

Summit Public Schools rank among the best in the nation, according to Vincent. They’ve won awards for school design, including being selected as one of ten schools to win the XQ Challenge in 2017. Fast Company named Summit one of the most innovative organizations in the country.

“More importantly, Summit produces phenomenal results for its students. Ninety-nine percent of Summit graduates have accepted to at least one four-year college and Summit students complete college at double the national average. For students of color, that far outpaces any other school in the country,” Vincent said.

She added, “Through Summit Learning, students enter adulthood with a deep understanding of how they learn best and a clear vision for achieving purpose and well-being in life.”