Our Learning Model

About our Learning Model

Four Design Features

Impact Academy at Orchard Lake Elementary is where learning is personalized, embedded in real life inquiry and impacts communities. Our vision is to create a personalized learning environment where all students are taught at their instructional level of learning in the areas reading, writing and math. Students and teachers together design an integrated pathway of learning to utilize individual interests and talents. Integration of content areas will connect all learning to real world problems, so students discover ways to impact each other and the larger community.

Raising Student Achievement through the Following Model:

Personalized Learning

Personalized Learning will raise student achievement because:

  • Each student has defined, clear and rigorous learning expectation
  • Students are working in their instructional level (Zone of Proximal Development)
  • Students are more engaged because they experience challenge and success
  • Students are valued as individuals therefore they work harder and reach higher
  • Less time is spent on behavior management because there is more time spent on doable tasks.

Future Ready Skills

  • Education must prepare our students for the future work force.
  • Education pedagogy will make shifts to create opportunities for students to apply the following skills:
    • Core subjects – reading, writing, math·
    • Creativity – Critical Thinking – Problem Solving – Communication – Collaboration
    • Information, media and technology literacy
    • Civic responsibility and global awareness

Service Learning

Service Learning is a multifaceted teaching and learning process uniquely tailored to meet specific learning goals and community needs

Service Learning will raise student achievement because:

  • Students will engage in learning that is meaningful and relevant
  • Service learning goals are clear and aligned with curriculum
  • Learning is experiential and applied; deepening understanding
  • Learning is internalized through reflection activities before, during and after service learning
  • Service learning promotes understanding of multiple perspectives fostering respect and developing interpersonal skills by group decision–making and conflict resolution
  • Students are active partners in identifying community needs and planning
  • Service Learning would happen within the integrated studies and elective learning structures

Integrated Studies

  • Science, Social Studies, Health and Technology standards are connected to a theme, essential questions and service learning project for all students.
  • The whole school will be studying their standards connected to the same theme and related service learning projects.  Advantages:
    • Studies meets the needs of different types of learners
    • All content learning is connected
    • A deeper understanding of content is developed by the student

Elective Learning (Future Implementation)

Elective Learning is a block of time when all students participate in activities of choice outside of the regular school day. Initial instruction on state standards would not be taught during this time. It would be a time for students to go further with the initial instruction and to explore their talents and interests. This would include specialists and community members. Supplemental interventions could also be delivered.

Possible activities offered in the areas of: foreign language, performing arts, visual arts, music lessons, fitness, sports, technology, supplemental instruction, academics – activities could also tie to future service projects.

Advantages of Elective Learning for Students

  • Extra curricula opportunities for all (no transportation needed)
  • Opportunities to explore interests and develop talents
  • Motivated by choice and empowered by decision-making
  • Opportunities to receive supplemental instruction – intervention
  • Utilize expertise within the community
  • Builds relationships within the community
  • Parent involvement

What are the Curriculum and Assessment Tools used in Impact Academy at Orchard Lake Elementary?

  • Impact Academy teachers are responsible for the students’ learning of the same state standards.
  • All state and district-wide assessments (MCA, MAP, AIMS, DRA2) will be given to Impact Academy students according to their grade level placement.
  • Students of Impact will receive supplemental support to accelerate their learning, if they are not at grade-level.
  • Impact Academy will divide the school year into trimesters and provide a reporting tool of student progress.
  • Families will be provided a document marking a student’s progress to match the literacy and math pathways or personalized plan.
  • Students will be benchmarked in the areas of literacy and math to determine their instructional level by strand using the pathways of learning.
  • When students have mastered a group of learning targets (a module), then they will move on to the next module and possibly a different target teacher.

Impact Academy at Orchard Lake Elementary Vocabulary

  • Anchor Teachers serve as primary contact for families and report student progress.  Responsible for teaching grade level science, social studies, technology, and health standards. Student setting is with grade level peers.
  • Target Teachers are responsible for teaching literacy and math standards across K-5. Student setting is multi-age
  • Support teachers provide services for special education students and English Language Learners.
  • Specialists Teachers provide Physical Education, Music, Art and STEAM.
  • Communities consist of one section of each grade (K-5) with an anchor teacher for each grade level.
  • Pathways are a continuum of learning targets based on the Minnesota state standards grades K-6.
  • Modules are a group of learning targets.
  • Integrated Studies connects all science, social studies, health, and technology standards to a theme and service learning projects.

What does a sample schedule look like for students in Impact Academy at Orchard Lake Elementary?

  • Our students will have the same start and end time to their school day and follow the same district elementary school calendar.
  • Our students will experience lunch and recess in a multi-age format. They will have 40 min. for lunch and recess.
  • Each community will follow the same block schedule. For example, all students will receive math instruction at the same time.
  • Literacy block will be 120 min. and math block will be 75 min. for all students.

Impact Academy at Orchard Lake Elementary Sample Schedule

Sample Schedule 
8:10 – 9:20 AM No students
9:25 – 9:55 AM Morning Meeting (anchor teacher)
9:55 – 11:55 AM Literacy (target teacher)
11:55 – 12:45 PM Lunch/Recess/Break
12:45 – 2:00 PM Math (target teacher)
2:00 – 2:15 PM Recess/Break
2:15 – 3:45 PM Integrated Studies (anchor teacher and specialists)
3:45 – 3:55 PM Wrap Up (anchor teacher)
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