No textbooks, no grades at One Stone School in Boise

One Stone School celebrates new facility.

BOISE - Box by box, One Stone School is embarking on a new adventure in uncharted waters.

"Traditional schools focus more on the knowledge components," said Academic Coach Emily Mulnick.

It's a school like no other in this area - students, not teachers, are in the driver's seat.

"The ability to have a voice in what I learn and how I am taking control of my education really drew me to this school," said Tessa Simonds, a sophomore at One Stone.

At One Stone, you can say goodbye to a syllabus at the start of the year. The students dictate which courses they take based on their interests.

"You're really interested in what you're learning so you want to get the work done," said Simonds. 

"What we're trying to focus on is what skills we want our students to come away with after the three years of our program," said Mulnick.

Another difference? No textbooks.  

"We have computers that we use so the teachers communicate to us in person while we're here at the school and then if we're having troubles at home we can talk to them online," said Simonds.

Their teachers aren't called teachers either. They're called Academic Coaches and Advisors instead. They also don't give grades. 

"My biggest question coming in was if we don't do grades how are we able to assess student learning?" said Mulnick.

Instead of grades, students get feedback and all of their work goes into an online portfolio and that's what colleges will see come senior year. 

"What I am starting to see students transitioning out of and into is their ability to ask for what they're interested in and not expecting me to tell them what they're going to learn," said Mulnick.

One Stone has students attending from all over the Treasure Valley and they also offer after-school programs. Both the school and those programs are free of charge.  

Copyright 2016 KTVB


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