- W2LA embraces a whole new attitude on how to learn;
- Gives students the ability to pursue learning through their passions; and
- Instead of standard classes, bells, passing periods, teachers, grades, & testing, W2LA will have conference rooms, maker spaces, learning coaches, portfolios, and student-directed learning
There are several types of students that will be interested in W2LA.
The student who wants freedom in their learning.
They want to get a jump start on learning and the things they want to do after the mandatory K-12 schooling. They are working on things at home in their interest area.
The student who is an entrepreneur.
They are self-motivated and filled with ideas. They want to get started on some of these ideas but feel the pressure to get their school work done and have little time to work on their ideas. They have parents that are too busy to support their ideas. They are left to wait until after graduation to really explore their ideas.
The student who is not thriving in the traditional system.
They go through the motions at school but are more interested in the social aspects of school. They are bored most of the time when they aren’t socializing. They stay in school because in the spring they get to take part in the 4 week forestry program. They love the hands-on forestry class. Getting to learn in the forest with their forestry teacher, who is the only teacher they feel truly cares about them as a person. Or they stay in school because they love their AP History class, but that is the only class they like and the only class in which they do well.
Their AP History class is very social. They read the history at home, go to class and get to round table discuss their ideas about what they read. They get to share their opinions with their teacher, who is always challenging their ideas. They love the social aspect of the class and enjoy the history even though they didn’t know, prior to the class, how much they were going to enjoy it. They took the class because the teacher was recommended to them by an upperclassman.
The student whose learning issues are not being met.
They feel stupid. They were identified in 1st grade as a struggling student. They were finally tested for learning disabilities in 3rd grade by the school. By this time, they had failed most classes and repeated 1st grade. They are significantly behind their peers. The school’s testing revealed that they have attention issues that are causing them learning problems (even though they struggle in reading, spelling and math, the “tests” didn’t reveal any other type of learning issue.)
Their parents did not agree with the school and took them for an outside evaluation with a neuropsychologist and that evaluation revealed that they had above average IQ with the learning disability dyslexia (and/or dysgraphia, dyscalculia, Autism Spectrum disorder, sensory processing disorder, auditory processing disorder, etc.) The parents are tired of struggling with the school to get their child the right remediation. The student is stuck in special education where they continue to believe they are stupid and have nothing of value to offer.