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Learning Journey to On Track Academy

Updated: Feb 6, 2023

Speaker Name: Hosted by Molly Johnson

Speaker Info: Teacher in the Ignite Program at OTA

Event Date: September 26, 2022

Brief Description of Event: Whitworth pre-service teachers and other community members visited On Track Academy to learn about their program offerings and to gain awareness of an innovative approach to education.

On Monday, September 26, 2022, AIER facilitated a learning journey with Whitworth University Education program students to On Track Academy. Located in North Spokane, On Track Academy is a new state of the art facility with an open floor plan, dynamic room arrangements and access to the Skill Center directly next door to the campus. During our learning journey we observed the environment in action - student work is prominently displayed, teachers working with students individually and in small groups, and plenty of space for students to study. In our closing debrief, we discussed how On Track is able to support student academic success through adaptable and individualized mastery based curriculum, emphasis on developing a family like environment, and through their flexible schedule, the majority of students attend classes for part of the day on site and the other portion of their day learning trades at Skill Center.

Whitworth students had the following to say their learning experience from visiting On Track Academy:

"It opened my eyes to alternative models of school and highlighted the importance of social-emotional learning."

"I got to listen to them talk about different teaching strategies that are based primarily on the students and their interests. I really liked this approach and plan to implement it into my teaching as much as I can"

"It made me aware of and able to consider different models of education. It opened my mind to different ways that education can take place."

"It showed me who I want to be as a teacher!"

"The concept of mastery and lack of conventional grading was a big switch from what I have been taught. Their explanation of how credits are received and classes passed was very intriguing and logical. Especially when they gave the example of the student who did well on all of their tests but didn't turn in any of their assignments, they failed even though they knew the content. They understood the content and should get credit for that."

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