SPARK School at Kyrene de las Manitas
Team Teaching. Dynamic Learning. Open Spaces.
Kyrene School District is committed to providing engaging, challenging educational environments which promote and inspire passion for learning, leading, and achieving. In 2019, the District launched a new program that reimagines the standard classroom structure by combining innovative practices in learning environments, methods and staffing.
SPARK can serve up to 120 students per learning studio, taught by a core team of educators: one Teacher Executive Designer (TED), along with certified teachers and teacher candidates. Two studios are housed on the campus of Kyrene de las Manitas, in a learning studio that is open and dynamic, equipped with furniture designed for flexibility and collaboration.
This model is the culmination of two years of effort that involved more than 100 Kyrene stakeholders participating in a design process facilitated by ASU’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College. Community input and participation is an important part of the process and continues to influence the program’s design.
The Learning Experience
SPARK is designed to prepare students for colleges and careers that are changing rapidly. Students have a chance to explore real world issues and meaningful topics over the course of several weeks, to building knowledge on each topic through literature, research and hands-on practice. Students simultaneously master grade level standards and work toward a final project that puts all of their learning to work.
The SPARK learning studios look, sound and feel different from a typical classroom. There are fewer walls, a variety of different learning spaces and state-of-the-art techology. SPARK teachers encourage and facilitate discussion, collaboration and healthy debate. Students will learn to question themselves and their peers, to foster a growth mindset.
The SPARK School is located on the Kyrene de las Manitas campus. SPARK expanded in the 2021-22 school year from three grade levels to four, including grades 3–6, with the intent to continue expanding each year, pending Governing Board approval, as students advance to grade 8. Interested families are invited to enroll online.
Member of the SPARK teacher team engaging with students
SPARK Name Reveal
Background and Development Information
The purpose of this initiative was to design innovative solutions to challenges in education by using an open-ended design process that values local context, diverse perspectives, entrepreneurial thinking and testing of solutions. View the development process below: