Silver Summit Academy aims to put students first
Park Record intern
With expansion on the horizon in the South Summit School District, new ideas of learning and teaching have emerged.
“To [become] a passive to active learner.” That is what Jeff Greiner, principal of Silver Summit Academy, aims for students to accomplish with the brand new program in the South Summit School District.
Silver Summit Academy is a new, blended-learning school. Blended learning is a combination of digital teaching and traditional teaching methods. With students ranging from kindergarten through 12th grade, the new school hopes to “provide a rigorous and personalized education,” Greiner said.
Silver Summit Academy, or SSA for short, is allowing students to “create [their] own schedule” and work at their own pace, said Zach Bednarik, a student at both SSA and South Summit High School.
“I can take lots of different classes,” he said. “I’m offered a bit of both worlds”.
Classes range from things like Latin to Sound and Audio Mixing, offering a larger selection of learning. School officials say that allows students to explore their interests and enjoy the learning they want.
Full-time students have also asserted that they have found SSA to have a different atmosphere, where teachers do not just tell them what to do but instead help students pursue learning they’re interested in.
Managing a mix of full-time and half-time students, SSA has a unique style of student-teacher interaction. Staff members say that the classes are small so the students who take advantage of it can receive a great deal of one-on-one learning. The reasoning behind a blended-learning system is to create a new pace and style of learning that enables students to control their own education. Allowing students to essentially take charge of their curriculum and their speed allows for a better learning environment.
“The classes have six to 12 kids,” said sophomore Carson Lundell. “It’s easier to help 12 kids instead of 30.”
As this is the program’s first year, Silver Summit Academy has many goals in helping to contribute new and improved teaching styles. One of the goals in particular is to make an impact.
Greiner explains that the ultimate goal is to help students pursue “choices that impact the pace of their learning, the path of their learning, the place of their learning, and the time of their learning.”
With the pursuit of a new style of learning in mind, Silver Summit is striving to reach higher goals with its focus on the student, and the student’s academic choices.
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The Park City Board of Education is on track to place a bond on the ballot this fall to improve district facilities. The top priorities would be to put ninth grade in the high school, eighth grade in the middle school and to augment preschool offerings by expanding elementary schools.