Private School Tour: Spectrum School: Every person in the building is a learner and a teacher

By Heather Psaltis
Education Director, Spectrum School

Every brain is unique. Shouldn’t each child’s education be personal and unique as well? When you consider the whole child, current educational research and 21st-century skills needed for the future, what should school be like? What do you want the end result of your child’s education to be?

The factory model of schooling created in the early 1900s is still the model used in traditional programs, but producing workers for industries that no longer thrive and creating direction followers is no longer relevant. Most of the jobs today’s children will have in their lifetimes do not exist today. How do we tackle this issue?

Spectrum School:

→ Serves students ages 3 through high school with a 12:1 student/teacher ratio

→ Is based on the educational theories of John Dewey (active learning), Jean Piaget (learning is personal and developmental) and Howard Gardner (Multiple Intelligences—we are smart in many ways)

→ Uses a personalized approach to learning

→ Integrated technology

→ Offers Spanish for students 3 and older, and Japanese from ages 10 and older

→ Offers band and guitar in addition to our general music program

→ Encourages students to be actively involved in making, executing and reviewing their learning

→ Uses an arts-integrated, interdisciplinary approach to learning that honors the many ways our students are gifted

→ Assesses students on their own j-shaped curve, eliminating a learning “ceiling” or negative competition

→ Promotes active engagement, reflective learning and collaboration

→ Students consciously and deliberately examine their own performance in different contexts to evaluate their strengths and areas in need of work

→ Every person in the building is both a learner and a teacher

→ Develops strong relationships with families so a team of adults support the learning process

Every day is open house day at Spectrum. Come experience our unique, progressive program of active, brain-based learning that recognizes the social, emotional and cognitive needs of every learner. Check us out at and call (815) 877-1600 to schedule a tour today—we want your child to love school!

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!