For fifth graders in these independent schools, a gateway program opens the door to personalized learning.
In the Danville Independent Schools, all fifth grade students participate in “gateways”. These are presentations that the student make. This year, all 150 participating students were moved out of their schools and onto the Centre College campus.
“A college is great backdrop. You’re in Young Hall, where there is science and learning all around you. There is definitely an added impact in what is obviously an educational facility,” said Keith Look, superintendent of Danville Schools. “They’re never too young to plant seeds.”
Centralizing the gateways was one of the big ideas that all the fifth grade teachers from the three schools shared as being most effective for students.
“When they were at the three elementary schools, they were individual interpretations of what it should be. Last year, after the individual school gateways, we brought the teachers together to brainstorm what went wrong, what went right and started getting geared up for this year,” said Judy Spellacy, director of elementary education in the district.
“The teamwork with staff … they really worked together to get the vision across. It was, ‘We’re going to be together. We’re going to be a team.’ I thought that was neat to see,” Spellacy said.