A BALANCED approach to teaching and learning has been an emphasis in the Mentor Schools since 2015. This balanced approach involves three critical areas that when all working together provide an ideal learning environment for our students. The three areas are technology, space and instruction.
TECHNOLOGY has always been an area of focus for our staff and students. In 2015, the district began moving away from shared devices (labs / carts of computers) to a one to one (1:1) approach. This push for 1:1 centered on providing an equitable experience for all of our students. The integration of 1:1 technology devices for students began in the middle school in 2014. In the next two years, grade levels and buildings were added until we were fully 1:1 with iPads at the the middle school level during the 15-16 school year. In 2015, the district used funds from the Straight A Grant to purchase MacBooks for all students at Mentor High School. Through sustainability funds, new MacBooks have been purchased each year since for incoming 9th grade students. The district went 1:1 in grades K-5 during the 2017-18 school year. In Kindergarten through second grade students use iPads and in third grade through fifth grade students use Chromebooks. This first component (1:1 technology) of our balanced approach was fully ready for the 18-19 school year. Below is a chart for device distribution for the start of the 2021-2022 school year. Adjustments have been made to devices at certain grade levels to allow for one less transition and maximizing the the life expectancy of the devices.
SPACE plays an important role for a balanced approach to teaching and learning. In 2014, as individual technology devices were starting to be used, a need for flexible classroom space was realized. The district began the implementation of a multi-year plan to fully renovate learning spaces across the district to support our balanced approach. Details of this plan can be found below. You can also read about how space has influenced teaching and learning as the district was featured in this Steelcase furniture article.
- Kindergarten through 5th grade had an opportunity to receive instruction in a full online environment for the entire 20-21 school year. The district has 36 MSO teachers at grades K-5 to meet the demand of students who chose this learning path.
- In 6th grade through 12th grade, families had the opportunity to choose a full online environment as well. Theses students learned synchronously each day by joining their class through Zoom.
- Our 9th - 12th grade students also have an option to participate in asynchronous courses (ELA 9-12, World History, US History, Government, Economics along with a selection of elective courses)