1604-spotlight-swoosh-newsltreMINTS School Spotlight: Kingston

Featuring A Day in Kingston by student Katherine Hensley

In a little town, on a quiet road in Northwestern Missouri, sits an unassuming school building. The community has used this building for the last 140 years to provide their children with a quality education. This tradition of quality education is not only continuing, but Kingston 42 is leading the way in innovative educational practices.

Over the last two years, the teaching staff of this K-8 district has been receiving training through the eMINTS program. The staff focuses on maximizing the potential of all students through individualization, discovery learning, and integrating technology. The school has taken many steps forward. The latest example of this innovative thinking is the new schedule taking place in the 5th through 8th grade.

Gone are the days of the traditional departmentalized hourly schedule. The students are now provided a list of tasks that need to be accomplished during the school day. The students are equipped with laptops and are able to choose in what order they accomplish the assigned tasks. Students accomplish these tasks by working individually or collaboratively with peers and teachers. Throughout the day, teachers are available to provide individualized conferences, mini-lessons, and also schedule group meetings for direct instruction. Student achievement is continually monitored on a real time basis.

When the two lead teachers in this project were asked to create an article about what was happening in the school, they responded by having the students tell the story themselves. One student, reflecting on her experience at Kingston 42, wrote the following:

A Day in Kingston

By: Katherine Hensley
I have attended Kingston 42 Elementary since I was 3 years old. As I grew, so did the competence of my education. I am learning more now than I ever did last year, or any of the years prior. I feel the reason for my exceptional education is because of the constant evolution of teaching. I went from white boards to laptops, and the changes haven’t stopped there. We have no set schedules with the exceptions of recess, lunch, and any scheduled lectures/specials.  We are given assignments to complete by the end of the day. Attending this school has given me opportunities to earn my independence, teach myself how to manage my time wisely, and has given me a chance to explore new things.

With the school working toward truly maximizing the potential of all students and adults in the building, students are not only seeking and learning factual information but doing so in a manner that allows real world application. Students must seek information to accomplish a task, evaluate the information and source for validity, and then execute a plan to use that information to accomplish the assigned task. All these skills are what students of today will need to be the leaders of tomorrow.

Submitted by the staff of Kingston 42