Recently we went on “a virtual visit to One Stone”, One of the most important educational R&D centers in the world. Started by Joel and Teresa Poppen in 2008, One Stone has been a pioneering school for putting students at the center of learning both in the school and the after school experience. From having a student advisory board to a student-run admissions process, One Stone really walks the walk with regards to student experience.

The event kicked off with a poem, in typical Getting Smart fashion.

Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dream

It doesn’t interest me
what you do for a living.
I want to know
what you ache for
and if you dare to dream
of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me
how old you are.
I want to know
if you will risk
looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

We then transitioned into a riveting introduction from Fawn Hoffman, a Y Year student (Senior) at One Stone. She guided us through a brief visualization asking questions like “How do you want to learn? Who do you want to learn from? Where do you want to learn? Why do you want to learn about the topic you chose?”

She emphasized the ways in which One Stone allows for their students to explore their passions through real-world and relevant experiences. One stone allows for students to find new places to learn about other topics and discover new passions through immersion experiences where students get to go on learning trips for a day or for several days.

The event also featured other One Stone learners, Alec who currently serves on the learner board and Arianna, a graduate of One Stone, who shared her experience while attending Denver University and trying to make the world a better place.

Attendees were engrossed with One Stone’s numerous brand elements, the BLOB (Bold Learning Objectives), the One Stone growth transcript, their Living in Beta model and their commitment to passion and curiosity.

The learners themselves led the conversation surrounding how to use and implement the growth transcript, a great indicator of transparency and letting students lead.

Throughout the event, we got some great questions about scaling, best practices and even calls for advice. The One Stone team put together a quick Learning Outcomes Framework FAQ to address some of these wonderings.

One Stone is now scaling their learnings and helping other schools and districts implement their innovative models. Email Chad Carlson or Teresa Poppen to learn more about how you might be able to work together.


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