SPRINGFIELD — Three city schools are among 22 across the state selected to participate in a pilot program called the Kaleidoscope Collective for Learning that is aimed at getting more “deeper learning” into schools.
Hundreds of schools and districts across the state applied to become involved in the program. The schools, which are located in 15 districts, were selected as finalists because they have begun the innovative work the program touts and submitted creative proposals to expand that, said Jeffrey C. Riley, commissioner for the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
While officials did not give specifics on how classrooms will change, they said the program calls for more interactive, collaborate and relevant learning.
“In order to meet the demands of the modern world, students need to be able to research, create, and apply concepts in new formats and in collaboration with other people,” education officials said in writing. “In the deeper learning model, expert teachers help students demonstrate fluency in a given academic area so that students can identify themselves as participants in and contributors to that area.”
The Springfield schools selected are Chestnut Talented and Gifted Middle School, which has 326 students in grades six through eight; M. Marcus Kiley Middle School, which has 683 students in grades six through eight and Mary M. Walsh Elementary School, which has 296 students in kindergarten through grade five.
Springfield officials did not respond to requests for more information about the program.
Schools selected serve a wide variety of grade levels across the state. Other schools include Monument Valley Regional Middle School, a regional school for 344 students grades five through eight in Great Barrington; the Academy of the Pacific Rim Charter School in Boston, which serves 526 students in grades five through 12; Andover High School, which has 1,790 students and Lincoln School, which serves about 650 children in kindergarten to grade four.
Staff at the schools have already attended the first training, which was held on Dec. 10. Each school must now hold a community meeting asking residents to contribute ideas to create a new learning plan and state officials will visit each school in January, Riley said.
Those who complete the steps will receive additional training and begin to implement deeper learning, Riley said.
A second cohort that will be involved in the program is to be named in the fall of 2021, he said.
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