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Student-led showcase builds Cimarron MS pride, gives parents full scope of learning at school

PARKER - Excitement is in the air at Cimarron Middle School. It’s their very first Celebration of Learning. “This is a way of celebrating what the students are doing,” explains 8th Grade Assistant Principal Doug Kapeller.

At first glance it resembles a trip to IKEA. Red arrows on the floor funnel students and parents all through the building to different stations.

One of the first exhibits offers free food. Students pass out beignets to everyone as they explain what they learned about France in their European unit.

“We're trying to teach the process,” says Kapeller. It’s a different take on parent-teacher conferences. Students show. Parents get an idea of what the entire school is learning by taking in all the different projects on display. “We're not teaching in rows and desks anymore. We're not doing worksheets anymore,” says Kapeller. “We're doing authentic projects.” 

Parents are led through a TV production classroom, art projects, and a cup-stacking station among others. The teachers are there to answer questions, but it’s the students that are showing off their work. Some parents miss the one on one format, but others are grateful for the change of pace.

The new take on conferences definitely sparks excitement throughout the building. Principal Kapeller embraces the school pride on display. “They want to show that we are Cimarron. They want to show that this is the place to be.”

March 14, 2017 | By CSilberman | Category: Middle School Education, Schools

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It may look like a plain, white shipping container was just parked on the backyard grounds of Mountain Vista High School. The contents of the container are anything but plain, though. Walking inside the container, different colors of ambient lighting glow, futuristic-looking equipment and tall towers are suspended from the ceiling, and the humidity level is set to 70 percent. The container has been recycled into a new kind of learning opportunity for students.