We are thrilled to be adding “families” back to our Pioneer Ridge experience. Six years ago, we piloted our first personalized learning full team experience in 6th grade known as Adventures. The following years we expanded the Adventures model to grade 7 and 8. During this time, we continued to work with all staff, through professional development and instructional coaching, to enhance instructional skills and pedagogy with the goal to be fully integrated in personalized learning opportunities across our entire building. Each year, as we continued with professional development, the instructional differences and learner experiences between our two teams became smaller (as was always the goal). Last year, both our Explorer and Adventure teams were skilled in personalized learning strategies such as offering seminars, coaching workshops, personal flex, just in time supports and feedback, and student voice and choice; and thus the two structures for learning were very similar.
After discussion as a staff and students, we felt it was equally important to have all students connected to a family/team. This allows us to build community in our school and better connect learners to a teacher team. In our previous years, many teachers and students crossed teams and therefore a common family or team experience for all students and staff seemed to be missing. We believe we have now arrived at a place that we can combine the best of the Adventures team and the Explorers team to offer personalized learning in a family/team model! This does NOT mean that either the Adventures format or the Explorer format are going away. It means they are continuing to grow and improve to provide the best personalized learning opportunity for all learners. We get the very best of both worlds for our learners!
We are excited to announce that we will have five families in our PRMS Trailblazer community. There will be two 6th grade teams–the Highlanders and the Frontiers, and three 7th and 8th grade teams–the Rangers, Voyagers, and Mountaineers! Students will receive their team placements when schedules become available on August 22nd in Campus Portal. Many staff have moved rooms to allow for teaming and have been in much of the summer working together to prepare for the school year. We are very excited about our continued growth to this team/family personalized learning structure and the opportunities and connections this will provide for our learners!