Salt Lake City’s Innovations Early College High School uses personalized learning to put teenagers in charge of their education, I discovered in a visit last fall. My story is now up on Education Next.
There are no bells at Salt Lake City’s Innovations Early College High School, and no traditional “classes.” Students show up when they like, putting in six and a half hours at school between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. Working with a mentor teacher, students set their own goals and move through self-paced online lessons. They can take more time when they need it or move ahead quickly when they show mastery.
Innovations, a district school, not a charter, is located on a community college campus, so it’s easy for students who qualify to take college classes. It also shares space with the district’s career-tech center, so students can take vocational classes in subjects ranging from web design and emergency medicine to cosmetology.
It seems very loosey-goosey, but mentors monitor students’ progress closely to make sure they’re on track for graduation.