Pathways Offers New Route to High School Diploma



SULLIVAN — A current buzz term in education is “differentiated learning” — which means providing students with a way of learning that suits them best.

 

For instance, one student might master algebra within the confines of the conventional classroom.

Katelyn Hodgkins (left) of Franklin, a junior at Sumner Memorial High School, is interested in nursing but prefers a more hands-on approach. Helping her fill out her application for Sumner Pathways, a multi-option way of earning credits, is student adviser Val Peacock. — JACQUELINE WEAVER
Katelyn Hodgkins (left) of Franklin, a junior at Sumner Memorial High School, is interested in nursing but prefers a more hands-on approach. Helping her fill out her application for Sumner Pathways, a multi-option way of earning credits, is student adviser Val Peacock. — JACQUELINE WEAVER

Another might better absorb the subject while studying navigational systems aboard a lobster boat.

Sumner Pathways, a pilot project funded with a $155,000 Nellie Mae Education Foundation grant, will enable students to earn high school credits in a variety of ways.

The learning avenues in this first-of-its-kind program funded by Nellie Mae in New England will include classes at Sumner, in college, online and in adult education; classes in certificate programs such as office skills, certified nursing assistant and WorkReady; college transition courses; internships; field studies; independent studies; working with a mentor and work experience.

“The educational system has failed to keep up with the kids,” said Principal Michael Eastman of teaching methods rooted in the industrial age,

Ann Slayton, director of adult education for Regional School Unit 24, which extends from the Ellsworth area east to Steuben, said the idea is to foster the joy of learning.

“Learner persistence is not about school attendance or meeting requirements,” she said, “but about persisting in the learning.”

For more education news, pick up a copy of The Ellsworth American.

 

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