The Sycamore School Offers Mastery-Based Learning, Personalized Education, and Self-Discovery

Mastery-based learning is the practice of spending as little or much time as needed to demonstrate proficiency in a particular skill or knowledge area. This translates to self-paced learning; students move forward based on their ability to demonstrate they know something, not on a predetermined amount of time allocated to the particular subject matter. Traditional school settings are structured around rigid time allocations and fixed student groups based primarily by age. Current best practices for secondary education suggest that these traditional models are not effective in teaching students of varying abilities and skills, because a teacher is forced to primarily teach to the middle ground with little ability to accelerate or slow the pace for individual students.

The Sycamore School incorporates best practices by offering:

  • A small and safe learning community
  • Differentiated instruction - we identify students’ individual learning strengths, needs, and interests and adapt lessons to match them
  • Experiential “hands on” learning activities paired with reflection exercises
  • A combination of individualized, paired and group learning opportunities
  • Integrated curriculum - connecting concepts across content areas and to the real world
  • Developmentally appropriate learning activities
  • Positive adult & student relationships that are cultivated through student-teacher collaboration
  • A focus on positive social & emotional development
  • A true partnership with parents to keep them informed of student progress