Students personalize their education with PICK time


Photo courtesy Stillwater Gazette

Schools Student teacher Caitlin Turner leans in to help elementary school kids at Lily Lake with their work. The new schedule will allow students to spend more time learning the subjects they need to learn.

Stillwater Area Schools are implementing new changes to elementary schools for the 2014-2015 school year, and even more changes to come in the 2015-2016 school year.  Passion, Innovation, Curiosity and Knowledge (PICK) time will be introduced to the elementary schools.

Malinda Lansfeldt, Executive Director of Learning Services and Elementary Education, explained PICK time, “As part of the district’s Bridge to Excellence strategic plan, there is a focus on personalization, passion, community and safety.  As stated in the Bridge to Excellence plan, our students are individuals, and we will encourage and support all students along their personalized learning pathways.  Also, our teachers will know each student’s passion, and design learning opportunities to capture each child’s curiosity and imagination.  Our community will nurture its youngest members and work together to meet students’ social, emotional, physical and academic needs.”

The PICK theory was first presented by a student at Stillwater Area High School, senior Nick Alm. Lansfeldt said, “Nick Alm and other members of the Elementary Programming Committee came up with the PICK concept after listening to multiple elementary programming sub-committee groups present research and best practices for student learning at the elementary level.”

Lansfeldt believes that all elementary school students will benefit from the addition to PICK time in their schooling experience. ”

To avoid possible obstacles in consistent scheduling across the district’s elementary schools, time for staff collaboration and professional development all district staff will work together and collaborate to ensure PICK time runs smoothly.

Lansfeldt believes that all elementary school students will benefit from the addition to PICK time in their schooling experience.  It is designed to help students begin to personalize their own education.  These types of options are already seen in junior high schools and the high school here in Stillwater, but some believe that beginning this process earlier will help students to make important decisions.

There is a six day rotation that is yet to be finalized for the PICK program to succeed, once it is finalized PICK time will be incorporated into the school day as schedules allow.

PICK time will allow students to explore different areas of creativity and passion and will also provide them with time to catch up in any way they need to.

Some changes that will be taking place in the 2015-2016 school year are adding languages to elementary schools and changing the media program to allow space for twenty-first century technology.

Lansfeldt is working towards many positive outcomes including more personalization, passion, student learning and growth in the elementary schools.