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  Mixed-Age Grouping

More often than not, students at Summit School of the Poconos find themselves in classrooms with students of other ages and grade levels. This allows teachers to focus on student ability and promote competency-based learning. As a result, students find themselves more comfortable with their learning progress and skills, as they are able to move at their own pace. This allows them to see themselves as progressive, successful learners.

Because students are able to spend multiple years with the same teacher, teachers are able to develop a deeper understanding of the student’s strengths and needs and are therefore in a better position to support the student. Students are never expected to be at the same place at the same time with regard to ability and are not “labeled” according to their aptitude.

In multi-aged classrooms, younger students look up to older students and aspire to do more—they want to do “what that kid is doing.” Older students appreciate an early sense of mentorship and understand the importance of being viewed as a role model and a leader. Research shows that students in mixed-age classrooms have significantly more positive attitudes toward school, themselves, and others, and are more likely to cooperate rather than compete.

Furthermore, students of mixed-age educational settings easily cross all-too-common, unspoken age and gender boundaries. Because of their day-to-day interaction under a mixed-age school structure, there is rarely a mindset of seeking out peers who are “only like them.” In the larger world, this translation is paramount—we don’t get to choose only the people who are “just like us” to work with. This is an ability that will serve our students well as they move into adulthood.