In Bozeman Montana, a school within a school promotes personalized learning.

Sacajawea Middle School is scheduling bigger blocks of time for core subjects including math and English. There are two teachers and 52 seventh and eighth graders in the school within a school, which is called Team Yellowstone.

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According to principal Gordon Grissom, Sacajawea students have experienced much success, but some “fall through the cracks, they don’t do well in a traditional setting.”

Team Yellowstone students have a different approach from the traditional schedule.  They don’t spend every day in a class for a single subject in periods of 49 minutes.  They spend 100 minutes studying core subjects.  Teachers can also schedule larger blocks of time when teaching science or social studies on “expedition” days.

Teachers build relationships with Team Yellowstone students who previously were not connecting with school.  Some are straight A students and some are struggling. Teachers urge them to “embrace the adventure.”

Team Yellowstone embraces personalized learning and teacher student relationships. Data will continue to be gathered to evaluate the success of the strategy of a school within a school.

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