Blueprint Offering A Different Experience in Learning

As a full-time education consultant, Allison Zmuda works with educators to grow ideas on how to make learning for students challenging, possible and worthy of the attempt. Over the past 19 years, Zmuda has shared curricular, assessment, and instructional ideas, shown illustrative examples, and offered practical strategies of how to get started.

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Once in a blue moon, you see a vision of personalized learning that takes your breath away. This is Blueprint — a school within a school in Douglas County, Colorado.

Blueprint is open to 5th and 6th grade students in Sage Canyon Elementary School who want to experience a different type of learning. Their mission is to embrace learning with an open heart and a focused mind in order to empower creative individuals to advocate, influence, and spark change.

I first came across the program by being asked to take a look at their website and offer feedback. IT. IS. STUNNING. (see for yourself). It is visually appealing, describes the breadth and depth of the program, and is approachable for both students, parents, and educators (not an easy feat).

Seeing it For Myself

When I visited Douglas County a few weeks later, I was determined to visit, even if it was only for 17 ½ minutes.

First, I wanted to give each of the teachers a big hug to congratulate them on what they have already imagined. Second, I wanted to see and hear from a students’ perspective what their daily learning life looked like.

This 6-minute clip has a student describe how she plans out her learning goals (short-term and long-term), designs her research, and creates demonstration of learning.

One Step Further

On my next visit to Douglas County, I had an opportunity to spend an hour with the teacher team at Blueprint to refine a draft version of learner profiles.

Sarah Johnson explains, “The purpose of the Blueprint profile is to articulate to our community what type of learners we have seen thrive in our program. As we role out a new Blueprint year and communicate to a new parent group of potential new Blueprinters these profiles will provide a way for parents to reflect on whether or not their child may find success within Blueprint.”

They continue to be pioneers — adding to, re-imaging, and sharing — in growing teacher practice, student learning, and communication with key stakeholders.

More About Blueprint

The mission of Blueprint is to embrace learning with an open heart and a focused mind in order to empower creative individuals to advocate, influence, and spark change.

Learn more about the program by visiting!

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Katie Muhtaris
Katie Muhtaris
7 years ago

I would love to see a copy of the Google doc that the student in your video is using. Even a blank one, it’s giving me all kinds of great ideas! Do you have that or a contact person I could follow up with?