School District Drops Grade Levels for New Program

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DANVILLE, Ind. --  School officials in Indiana are trying a learning experiment. The Danville School District is ditching grade levels and taking another approach to learning.

Students will be able to use I-Pads to create their own learning plan that allows them to move at their own pace. Davide Vornholt traded his textbook for an I-Pad along with other students.

"Instead of finding a ton of different papers, searching through, you just go to class organizer, or pages or wherever you want to," Vornholt said.

The Danville School District plans to start a pilot program in the fall that involves Mass Customized Learning. That means students will still have to meet state standards. They
will be encouraged to move up as soon as they're ready. If the pilot program goes well, the school will implement the system for everyone in the 2013-2014 school year.

"Instead of 12 grades, we're going to have levels of education that a student needs to progress through," said Dr. Denis Ward, Danville, IN Schools Superintendent. "We want to make sure we're implementing the very best approach."

The superintendent says some parents are against the approach but he says classes like Spanish which will be used in the pilot program should prove it works.

"If we continue to approach education the way it was created by our founders, we're never going to be able to teach all students 21st century skills," he said.
"I like the concept."

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