What, specifically, is your favorite part of our school and why? Recognizing, encouraging and cultivating individuality in learning.
Joy. One thing I notice daily is joy. My son is much more joyful and peaceful. But I also see it in the faces and eyes of TIS staff. It is a hint of beauty.
The openness of the curriculum.
I love the fact that each lesson is taught in a way that is relevant and exciting to the students. They are not simply memorizing facts, but absorbing things that interest them.
I love the teachers.
The child led educational philosophy.
The fact that the teachers take and have the time to get to know the students and adjust accordingly.
Hands on learning without the restrictions of a desk. The ability to teach younger students while at the same time learning from older students.
What have you noticed about your child as a result of coming to The Innovation School this year? Self-confidence is through the roof. "Learning is FUN". With low ratios there is time for the teachers to really get to know and build a relationship with the kids.
I believe The Innovation School has given her more confidence in her ability to solve problems.
Peace. Confidence. Our son was really struggling with anxiety, feelings of insecurity, and low self-esteem. This showed up in so many ways and was often masked in protective behaviors such as refusing to try a task. As he has had time to learn in a more child-centered environment, his defenses have fallen away. He is more likely to try new things, laugh at mistakes, and enjoy life.
Her increased interest in the community and inquisitiveness.
This is my child's first year of school, so I can't provide any before-and-after comparisons. However, I was worried that with starting kindergarten that I would see a decrease in her creativity, energy, and enthusiasm for learning and reading. I am thrilled to say that the opposite has happened and I just love to hear the excitement in her voice when she tells me what she researched or created in school that day.
My daughter surprises us with really high level concepts based on what she's learned at school... concepts I didn't put together until I was older.
After just two weeks, she is excited to go to school and more engaged in learning any time of day.
My children are much happier and more comfortable with themselves.
He is not so timid going to school anymore. He is more confident in himself in what he is learning, math in particular. He is more open in discussing what he has done during the school day.
Can you think of 3 benefits of sending your child to our school? 1. The kids get to learn in a more natural environment. 2 Learning by inspiration in a school setting and in the community. 3. The kids have developed a passion for what they learn.
1. Child-centered learning (specific to my child, not children in general) 2. Divergent thinking is encouraged and supported by lessons, projects, and the very fabric of the school 3. Late start Wednesday (I love a middle of the week morning that is more relaxed. Perhaps not the huge benefit compared to all the others - but one that makes me smile every week.)
1. Increased activity and community awareness 2. Teacher-to-student ratio 3. Exposure to non-traditional curriculum
1. Small class sizes mean teachers have time for more individualized teaching methods and content. 2. Different ages interacting together regularly creates big- and little-sibling like relationships. Also, since all children mature at a different pace socially, they can relate to others who may not be their same age. 3. There is so much hands-on, fun learning projects.
1. Small classes 2. Awesome teachers 3. Focus on critical thinking and hands-on projects
1. They get proper attention but also freedom. 2. The teachers are great and are free to teach. 3. My child is gaining and growing so much without the pressure and testing.
1. Letting him learn at his own pace whether he is behind or advanced in a particular subject. 2. He is able to ask the teacher questions and the teacher actually spends time with him. 3. Sometimes he doesn't realize he is learning because it's being taught differently. It's actually fun.
If you were to recommend us to your best friend, what would you say? It's the most unique environment. The kids don't realize they are being "schooled" The set up allows for peer teaching, idea led discussion and projects that incorporate skills and knowledge in an individualized manner unique to where each child is and pushes them to think outside the box to apply what they learn. I've been impressed with how many interesting field trips they go on; fire station, animal shelter and horse therapy ranch just to name a few. Also they routinely have guest presentations from artists and musicians.
We are lucky to have some great schools and teachers in the Bismarck community. However, they generally take a one-size-fits-all approach to learning. The Innovation School is unlike anything we have in the state. It truly has a more progressive and effective way of reaching our children, sparking a passion for life, and preparing them for a successful future.
Your child will have the opportunity to grow and actually learn, not force fed stats and easily forgettable lessons.
Yes, it's expensive but prioritize. It's worth it. You are not just supporting your child to experience a healthy environment and gain a foundation of love of learning but supporting the possibility of alternatives to even exist.
It is very evident that the entire staff cares very much about the school and all the students.
It may sound like a lot of money, but you have to view it as an investment in your child's future. The difference we have seen in our child has been monumental. He is excited to learn and do new things. They teach more than just subjects... they are teaching students how to be better people by learning how to cope with difficult feelings or disappointments and allowing them opportunity to learn from their mistakes. The teachers truly care for and about the kids.
What else would you like to add? (FREESTYLE SECTION!) My son's confidence has blossomed from the support and love he has received in this unique environment. He has found a passion for learning that will only continue to grow as he has the motivation and inspiration to accomplish anything he desires! My daughter is thriving with a mixed age school environment that meets her needs socially and pushes her academically. I love what The Innovation School has done for and will continue to do for my children.
This is all so new. I'm an old-school thinker. I love structure and tests and the "security" they bring. Most of my kids have thrived in a traditional environment. But not this one. This one was drowning. The intelligence we saw in him was not being engaged and captured in the traditional classroom. He was sad, mad, defeated. Paying for school and trying something new was a HUGE leap for me. I was terrified. I still am some days. BUT what I see in my son's soul - freedom, joy, curiosity, enthusiasm - those gifts outshine any other concern. His heart has been set free, and I am so thankful.
Happy child = happy parent
The Innovation School is nonsectarian in its programs, admissions policies, employment practices, and all other operations and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin or gender.