INDIANAPOLIS - While summertime is typically devoted to break in school work, some area grade school students are using the time to focus on their future.
It's a new kind of summer school at Southport Middle School. But unlike traditional summer remediation, students are not required to be here and there no textbooks. The program is called "The Power of U."
"The Power of U is a digital, individualized instruction plan," said program director Travis Hamilton.
Designed by McGraw Hill, the school is the only location in the country so far hosting the high-tech approach to learning. For the last four weeks, students have been studying math in the classroom, in smaller groups, and through individualized tutoring.
Each day ends with a quick quiz to see how much they've retained. The next day is customized to keep pace with their learning.
"It's a very new approach. Has the potential, we believe, to change the way education happens in America. No longer the 'one size fits all' model of teaching and learning," Hamilton said.
The program has grown dramatically. There were 25 students enrolled last summer, 150 this summer and this fall, there will be more than 1,200 students at two separate schools.
"We're seeing the students are much more engaged, because they're able to do this at their own speed, their own pace," Hamilton said.
Students say they believe the new approach is working for them.
"It's a fun program with lots of teachers that care about you," said Brady Schuster.
"It is different from anything else, because you do have different times and then you do different things in different ways and there's different ways to get taught lessons," said Emanie Gulley.
"This is what we're looking for when you talk about that holy grail of learning and teaching," said Robert Bohannon, Perry Township Schools.
As the program grows in Indiana, it will next expand to schools in Colorado and Arizona.
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