Why EPIC Learning
In order to meet the needs of a diverse population of students, DCSD set out to modernize the instructional model within the district. DCSD created a curriculum that is flexible and interesting to students, and most importantly develops critical thinkers rather than repeaters of the information that’s been delivered to them. This plays out in the classroom through the use of interactive technology, and projects and curriculum that solve real-life problems. Likewise, EPIC doesn’t sacrifice state-mandated standards, but formulates standards into a language that is more approachable and understandable to today’s students.
The main purpose of EPIC Learning is:
- GIVE STUDENTS VOICE AND CHOICE IN THEIR LEARNING
- MODERNIZE INSTRUCTION
- PROVIDE STUDENT AGENCY
- PERSONALIZE LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES
- EMPOWER TEACHERS AND STUDENTS
- MAKE ASSESSMENTS MORE MEANINGFUL
- PREPARE STUDENTS FOR THE 22ND CENTURY
Our society is modernized and our system needs to change to meet the changing needs of society and our students. All the content and knowledge in the world is at our students' fingertips now.
We will continually grow as an innovative education community committed to the learning of all.
Three Core Elements
Our instructional model is the how we will provide this instruction to all our students in all our schools. There are three core elements to this model.
- POSITIVE CULTURE
- LEARNER-CENTERED ENVIRONMENT
- RESPONSIVE INSTRUCTION
Hallmarks of an EPIC Classroom
The hallmarks of an EPIC Classroom are:
- STUDENT VOICE
- STUDENT CHOICE
- TRANSPARENCY OF LEARNING
- STUDENT OWNERSHIP
Our Instructional Model
POSITIVE CULTURE is how we build connections and relationships with our students and foster curiosity.
LEARNER-CENTERED ENVIRONMENT is flexible and innovative and students have a voice in their learning.
RESPONSIVE INSTRUCTION is the critical piece of our model, and it is at
the heart of our shift from delivering information, to developing critical thinkers, risk-takers and problem solvers.
EPIC Classroom Model
Portrait of a DCSD Learner
Douglas County School District is in the process of developing a “Portrait of a Learner”, which outlines our vision and expectations for all DCSD students.
EMPOWERED LEARNERS set goals, create opportunities, and explore options for meaningful learning. This learner has high self-efficacy, social awareness, and the skills and the know-how to take on worthy challenges and goals.
PREPARED LEARNERS possess the tools and perseverance to be a critical thinker who is motivated to take the next step in their journey.
INSPIRED LEARNERS are passionate to discover challenges and make the world a better place.
CONNECTED LEARNERS develop relationships beyond the school environment. They pursue their interests and passions, utilize technology and act in a way that allows them to thrive and contribute to their community.
"My name is Mia. Last year I was a 4th grader, I was in a model classroom for EPIC and I wanted to share my experience with EPIC. EPIC means Empower-Prepare-Inspire-Connect. EMPOWER means to self reflect on yourself, where you are at in a standard, and if you are ready to move up or stay where you are for a little bit longer. EPIC gives a voice to the students. EPIC PREPARES you for different subjects we learn in school like math and reading…etc. EPIC
PREPARES you for making future life decisions. I feel fortunate that I got to be one of the first students that got to experience EPIC. I love my school and all of the teachers as well. I feel very safe and welcome at my school and thanks to
EPIC I feel very EMPOWERED to make decisions about my education. I feel PREPARED for the future. I feel INSPIRED to do the best I can. I feel more CONNECTED to the school. Thank you."
Mia M. - 5th Grade @ Minden Elementary School