Personalized Learning

Polaris Tech is Empowering.

Personalized learning addresses the needs of all students, those in remediation and acceleration. Five high-impact strategies are essential to student success and the hallmark of Polaris Tech’s approach:

Learner Profiles

Every student has an ICAN (Individual Competency Achievement Plan) profile to capture their individual skills, gaps, strengths, weaknesses, interests and aspirations. Teachers, parents and students use the frequent and relevant feedback to work together to continually monitor, adapt and personalize learning.

Personal Learning Paths

Polaris Tech encourages students to voice their interests and choose their learning path. Each student has personal and individualized learning goals. Learning experiences are diverse, adaptive and matched to the student’s individual needs and interests. Students have the freedom to chart their own path and learn at their own pace, without the limitations imposed by grade levels, schedules or calendars.

Competency-Based Progression

Student progress is measured against clearly defined standards, behaviors and goals, not the results of standardized tests. Students are graded based on their progress and mastery of the competencies. Most important, students are be given multiple opportunities, if needed, to demonstrate progress.

Flexible Learning Environments

The opportunity for individualized pacing, benchmarking progress, immediate feedback and remediation profoundly impacts the dynamics of teaching and learning. Patterned after the 21st century ‘open’ workplace, our technology-enabled environment allows students and staff to move freely throughout the learning environment, and gives Learning Navigators the flexibility to provide support.

Emphasis on College and Career Readiness

Polaris Tech’s curriculum, activities and programs are intended to develop college and career readiness, in both academic and non-academic skills.

All Polaris Tech students in grades 9–12 engage in at least one Career Pathways course of study culminating in a ‘completer’ certification. Middle grade students are exposed to two pathways each year from grades 6–8 through our Project Lead the Way curriculum. Community partnerships and strategic business relationships enhance the Polaris Tech student experience and support our Career Pathways curriculum and Applied Learning projects.

Polaris Tech is Engaging.

Students participate in five, nine-week ‘stages’ within the school year. During each nine-week stage students engage in learning cycles to complete individual and group applied learning projects to acquire the knowledge and build the skills to master their personalized course of study.

Learning Cycle

In this stage, students start with the “tip of the iceberg” of the issue they are exploring. Students build background knowledge, find out what they already know, and define their own related questions of interest.

In this stage, students begin to investigate the issues more deeply. Students explore multiple points of view, evaluate the evidence, and begin planning for their own design, performance, solution, or other end product.

In this stage, students apply their new knowledge and developing skills to demonstrate their learning. Students design, develop, create, solve or prepare for a performance.

In this stage, students share their work with a real audience. Students connect with others, inspired action or new ways of thinking, and make an impact in their sphere of influence.

Within each learning cycle and applied learning project students are introduced to new content and competencies and challenged to solve problems using five critical steps for active learning. They explore and make meaning from information, investigate issues deeply to uncover possible solutions, create and share their solution with their peers and reorganize ideas and make larger connections from new insights. With the support of Learning Navigators, each student moves through these stages on their own timeline, and each stage builds upon the last and as students progress to competency.

Our faculty and content coaches understand how students naturally learn and create projects and environments that enable them to progress and grow in their own time, and in their own unique way. We believe that this model sparks motivation, excitement and results in lifelong learning.