This year and last year, all of our Core Courses in the 6th Grade have been utilizing Summit Learning in order to develop our students into self-directed learners who can succeed with the demands of a rigorous, mastery-based education.
Next school year, families will have the option of choosing Summit Learning for Core Courses in 7th & 8th Grade.
What is Summit?
Summit helps us provide a different type of learning – one where students gain skills to take more control over their academic growth than in a traditional classroom setting. The Summit approach – that of empowering students – can be used entirely offline, but Libby is using the online platform in keeping with the school’s technology focus.
The Summit computer platform helps in many ways:
- It helps students organize their coursework online through a colorful, interactive screen. (This part of the platform is like project management or scheduling software.)
- Our teachers use Summit to organize and deliver curriculum to students through various interactive forms – websites, online activities, educational videos and teacher-developed slides.
- It allows for ongoing collaboration among students and with the teacher.
For your students, Summit will be a one-stop-shop for much of the information they’ll need over the course of the year. And for you, Summit will give you unparalleled access to your children’s education – their projects, their weekly progress, their areas of strength or of needed support, and of course, their grades.
Is all the learning done online?
In fact, 70% of a student’s grades come from in-class, team and group projects that are used to apply learning in a way that’s interactive and engaging. Through these assignments, students demonstrate their understanding of a subject at higher levels of thinking while building real-life skills like collaboration and communication. Teachers assess these projects on rubrics developed by the Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning and Equity (SCALE) to measure student progress on developing Cognitive Skills.
Only 30% of a student’s grades comes from content assessments that a computer can grade. For each content assessment, resources are organized by learning objective. Students can go through the resources at their own pace, speeding ahead for areas they find easy and slowing down for areas they find more challenging. During this time, students also learn to set goals, develop habits of success, check-in individually with teachers, and verify their readiness to take a test, as they grow into self-directed learners. The teachers get valuable data on the progress of your child's learning, upon which to make decisions on how to best meet your child's specific learning needs. This could mean pulling your child into a small group lesson, or some one-on-one coaching, or maybe talking to your child about slowing down or speeding up and adjusting the learning goals. The result is that the teacher-student interaction is better-informed and more personal.
- Schedule: Students have Project Time for all of their core courses. It is the majority of their week and time in school.
- Project Time: Students work on projects that mimic the work of people in the workplace or field of the discipline.
- Cognitive Skills: Through project-based learning experiences, students develop deeper learning skills, or cognitive skills, such as critical thinking, communication, problem-solving and collaboration.
- Grading: Projects make up 70% of a course's grade and are graded based on a student’s cognitive skills.
- Students must complete every project to pass a class
- Only the best grade for each cognitive skill in a course’s projects will be counted towards the grade
SELF-DIRECTED LEARNING (SDL)
- Schedule: Students are engaged in Self-Directed Learning (SDL) on Monday and Friday in their core courses.
- SDL: During Self-Directed Learning (SDL), we focus on mastering the content knowledge to apply in projects. The teacher provides workshops, small group coaching, and one-on-one check-ins with students about their academic progress.
- Focus Areas: Content knowledge is the facts and information that students learn about a particular topic. We call them Focus Areas. Each Focus Area has an associated playlist with learning resources.
- Projects have both Power and Additional Focus Areas
- Grading: Content Assessments (CAs) make up 30% of a student's grade with 21% made up of Power Focus Areas and 9% made up of Additional Focus Areas
- Students must pass all content assessments in the Power Focus Areas to pass a class
- Students must receive at least an 8/10 on a Content Assessment to pass it
Our students explain how to navigate the Summit platform:
LETTER GRADES AND PERCENTAGE SCORES
Your student can receive the following letter grades in a course:
- A+ to C-
- “N/A” - There is no project graded yet.
- “I” - Incomplete. If a student is not on pace to accomplish the following 3 goals, then they will have an Incomplete:
- Submit 100% of their projects
- Achieve, on average, grade level performance on cognitive skills
- Pass 100% of his/her Power Focus Areas
Letter Grading Bands:
FOCUS AREA GRADING
- Focus Areas make up 30% of a student's grade.
- This is split between Power Focus Areas (worth 21%) Additional Focus Areas (worth 9%).
- Students must answer 8 out of 10 questions (receive an 80%) on a Content Assessment (CA) to pass.
- If a student passes a CA, he/she receives full credit for that Focus Area.
- Students must pass all CAs in the Power Focus Areas to pass a class.
Students do not need to pass Additional Focus Areas to pass a class, but the highest grade they could earn is 91% without passing any Additional Focus Areas
COGNITIVE SKILL RUBRIC
- The cognitive skills rubric was developed in consultation with assessment experts at Stanford
- Cognitive skill scores range from C– to A+ and the band varies by grade level
- We push students to grow and expect a higher level of performance from students in higher grade levels, but anyone can use the rubric to do work at a higher grade level
- If a student does not complete a project or the cognitive skill average for a course is below 70%, then the student will have an Incomplete