Independent Learning Center (ILC) Senior, Janie McMillan Making Hopes and Dreams a Reality, Supporting Others in the Process!

ILC Student - Janie McMillanILC Senior, Janie McMillan is making her hopes, dreams and future aspirations a reality. Like every student who attends the ILC, Janie has worked closely with her advisors and mentorship coordinator to establish an “Individualized Learning Plan” that outlines her current and future goals and a plan for how she will achieve her goals. Janie’s goals include becoming an educator.

As such, Janie participates in an internship at Methow Valley Elementary School. Working under the supervision of her mentor, Adrian Chavey, Janie is working with elementary-age students in support of their learning.

Taking it a step further, Janie is now employed by the Methow Valley School District in the After-School Childcare and Cub Club Enrichment Program.

The ILC, one of only five “competency-based” learning programs in the State of Washington endorsed by the State Board of Education, offers interested students with a unique opportunity to develop and apply authentic, real-world skills and knowledge through a combination of core coursework, student-initiated projects, and community-based internships.

Grant Lichtman, Senior Fellow with The Martin Institute for Teaching Excellence and author of the book titled, “Moving the Rock,” highlights the important work in front of schools to create student-centric, school and community-based learning laboratories. In a recent article, he stated, “Innovative learning practices that smear the boundary between “school” and “world” are increasingly the hallmark of deeper learning in the 21st century. They create scaffolds around which students learn critical content within the context of personal relevance and interest that generate intrinsic motivation, deeper understanding and longer retention.” He adds, “As I researched for my book, Moving the Rock, I looked for specific programs and practices that are fundamentally changing the outdated school operating system.”

One of the systems he Lichtman identifies is Big Picture Learning – a network of schools that has pioneered student internships with community partners, resulting in authentic, real-world learning, and in many cases, leading to future employment in an area of interest!

Please join us as we acknowledge Janie McMillan, the ILC staff, and our many community-based mentors for making the hopes, dreams and aspirations of our students a reality!