Greenhurst Elementary’s Mastery-Based Education Program was in the limelight on Tuesday, April 18, during a visit from State Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra. Greenhurst is one of three schools in the district focusing on the program that encourages individualized learning. Columbia and Union high schools also are piloting the program.
Ybarra visited several classrooms to see up-close how the program is being implemented. Under Mastery-Based Education, students set individualized goals for mastering state standards. Once they demonstrate competency in those goals, they set new ones. Thus, a student can progress as quickly or as slowly as needed to gain a thorough understanding of a subject.
“It’s difficult to meet all the needs of a diverse student body,” said Rachel Lightfoot, a second-grade teacher at Greenhurst. Mastery-Based Education helps teachers identify what level each child is at and how they can collaborate with other teachers to meet each child’s needs.
“This puts lots of responsibility on the students to meet their educational goals,” she said. “They want to succeed because they are in charge of their own learning.”
Greenhurst Principal Gina White said the program has been very successful and hopes to see it grow across the district.