Upper School students at AISZ have open blocks in their timetable. A 12th grader said to a teacher on the first day of school, “I’m planning to use some of this time to work on my assignments, and other times to meet with teachers for discussions about skills I need, like research.”
AISZ is responding to the school’s Community Summit last March 2017, in which students, parents, Board members, teachers and administration identified personalized learning as one of the strategic goals for the school.
One of the school’s actions for the 2017-2018 school year was to give students a flexible block twice per 10 day cycle of the timetable. During the flex blocks, an AISZ student can reference a Personal Vision Plan, what the student wants to accomplish, work toward, to contribute meaningfully to his or her own life and communities.
Students mainly use flex blocks throughout the school year to pursue a passion project of their choice. They go through the process of identifying their goal, specifying success indicators, designing iterations and producing prototypes, and at the end of the school year, presenting and celebrating their achievement with the AISZ community.
In the last two years, AISZ has pushed for personalized learning through STEAM projects in Middle School and Personal Projects in the High School. The school is aiming to expand the personalized program through flexible time this school year.