Academics at ILHS

Our actions are grounded in a strong belief in the capacity of every student to achieve academic and social-emotional success that prepares them to thrive in a world yet to be imagined. 

Mastery-Based Learning

Every teacher at Innovation Lab High School is also a learner. We have all grown up and been trained in the traditional education system, and are working to teach and build a school that is better than what has been. One of the primary structures that help us progress toward that goal is mastery-based learning. We are slowly progressing toward implementation of these aspects of mastery-based learning:

  • State learning goals in clear, student-friendly language.

  • Start each learning cycle with a clear understanding of what mastery looks like. We share criteria for success from the start, not just when it’s time for a grade. 

  • Use hands-on learning in classes. As students learn new skills and concepts, they practice and apply these abilities actively. Rather than passively listening, our students engage in academic inquiry, collaboration, reflection, and hands-on tasks.

  • Offer feedback in the moment, as students learn and practice new abilities—like a sports coach would offer, but for learning.

  • Offer more choice in how and when students demonstrate their learning. Rather than setting one pace for the whole class, each student will show what they know and can do when they reach proficiency. 

  • Look at student work as 1) an opportunity to grow and practice skills and concepts, and 2) evidence of exactly where each student is on their learning journey.

  • Support students to explore and develop interests. We honor the expertise each learner brings, and seek to connect learning to the world outside the school.

  • Grade for accuracy and equity. Grades will be based on direct evidence of proficiency with skills and concepts—not based on completing a certain number of assignments. Students who are not yet meeting grade-level standards get support and ongoing opportunities to show their learning.