Filed under Features, Showcase

New Addition to Chanhassen High School: The Quad

In recent years Chanhassen High School has been expanding their personalized learning system. The Quad being one of many ways.

Coenen's classroom, one of the four classroom's used for the Quad, located in Spruce South.

Coenen's classroom, one of the four classroom's used for the Quad, located in Spruce South.

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Students sit at tables collaborating and teaching themselves lessons ranging from math equations to the history of the Holocaust. If they need help they have advisors in each subject to help them.

“Two years ago a group of teachers went to Wisconsin, saw how some schools there we’re doing a structure similar to the QUAD, came back, and talked about how it could be integrated into Chanhassen High School,” Chad Mattson, the guidance counselor for the Quad, said.

The Quad is a personalized learning program that 126 freshman chose to be a part of. The staff in the Quad wanted to start with a smaller group at first to see how successful the new program is. According to Joe Coenen, the Quad math teacher, the students involved are allowed to go at the speed that they desire, and they also have the choice of being taught by teachers or to teach the lessons to themselves.

The difference between traditional learning and Quad learning is that traditional learning is often a “stand up and teach” style, whereas Quad learning gives students the option to skip basic levels and go right to advanced lessons if appropriate, making it more personalized.

The staff includes Joe Coenen, the mathematics teacher, Chris Gallagher, the social studies teacher, Nancy Flom, the English teacher, Jessica Arnold, the personal wellness teacher, and Chad Mattson, the counselor.

Though many of the other students have thought that the Quad is a lot different than Chanhassen’s everyday learning, according to Mattson, it isn’t.

“More and more of our teachers around the building are doing the same principles of voice and choice within their classrooms. So, even if a student is not a part of the Quad, they are more than likely getting some similar experience in one or two classes,” Mattson said.

Coenen said he was interested in becoming a part of the Quad because he was becoming bored of traditional learning. He was already making a gradual change between personalized learning and traditional, so he decided to just make the full switch and become the Quad math teacher.

“It’s my 24th year of teaching, so I didn’t want to do the same, old teaching anymore,” Coenen said.

The Quad is located in Spruce South where they have four classrooms used for teaching lessons and one meeting room where all of the teachers offices are.

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