School districts across Southwest Missouri learned about four innovative programs being utilized at Reeds Spring Schools. These programs were recognized last week at the Innovation Summit in Branson.
Reeds Spring Primary School teacher Sara Criger earned an Innovative Educational Practices award for her creative use of technology, which has allowed three-way communication between parents, students, and the teacher. Criger’s use of technology in her kindergarten classroom allows learning to be creative and student-led. She blends technology tools to let her students be independent, self-guided learners.
Reeds Spring Middle School teacher Alison Crane received an Innovative Educational Practices award for her English Language Arts program, College Ready Writers. Students learned about argumentative and informative writing. They’ve developed an ability to critique the writing of others, and students have become more empowered to express their thoughts through writing.
Reeds Spring High School teachers Craig Barr and John Kessinger received an Innovative Educational Practices award for their leadership class, called Cornerstone. Students spend the first two years learning how to be effective leaders and building their personal portfolios. During their last two years of high school, students learn their own leadership styles and develop a capstone project. They learn to effectively communicate and begin to understand the importance of being active and influential members of their community.
Reeds Spring High School was also recognized for its partnership with the nonprofit, I Pour Life. This organization received an Educational Partner for the 21st Century award. I Pour Life sends a life coach to the school once a week to meet with students and develop strategies to improve attendance, academic performance, behavior, and relationships with family and peers.
The Innovation Summit is hosted by the Greater Ozarks Cooperating School Districts, a consortium of 53 school districts. This organization allows schools to share academic and operational research, explore new ideas in education, and provide high-quality professional development.