Center for Creative Learning
The Center for Creative Learning was established in 1990 as part of Rockwood’s commitment to meeting the learning needs of its most advanced students. The Center supplements the regular school program by providing differentiated educational opportunities for academically gifted students. The Center is located at 265 Old State Road in Ellisville, MO, houses grades K-5. Students spend one day each week at the Center. At their home schools, these same students receive enrichment and acceleration experiences through the efforts of regular classroom teachers.
A Day at the Center
During their day at the CCL, students engage in several different learning units. The "Morning Unit" is a semester in length and entails approximately 45 hours of instruction in one subject area. Students in grades 1-5 are involved in two such units each year. Kindergarten students engage in one-morning unit (they attend the Center for the Spring semester only). In the afternoon, students participate in units of study called "Kaleidoscopes". Kaleidoscopes are student-selected, quarter-long courses of study that involve approximately nine hours of instruction. The number of Kaleidoscopes per year varies by grade level. Kindergarten students enroll in two Kaleidoscopes each year. Students in grades 1 and 2 enroll in four Kaleidoscopes per year, and students in grades 3, 4, and 5 enroll in eight Kaleidoscopes per year.
CCL morning units and Kaleidoscopes are both written to include content and process skills approximately two years above the district's grade level core curriculum objectives. Units allow in-depth study of topics while Kaleidoscopes provide students with an opportunity to briefly explore a variety of high-interest topics. Students in grades 1-5 are able to choose their Kaleidoscope courses from an array of offerings at the Center. Allowing for student choice gives both students and staff an opportunity to work together in areas of strength and high interest.
New Kaleidoscopes are written each year to reflect student interest and current events. Students are surveyed several times a year to help determine topics for new Kaleidoscopes.
The CCL Outdoor Classroom
The CCL Outdoor Classroom is 6.5 acres of wooded land adjacent to the Center for Creative Learning campus. The CCL Outdoor Classroom provides students with a safe, accessible learning environment where opportunities to develop skills in information gathering, critical thinking, problem-solving, communicating and development of personal and environmental responsibilities can be maximized. Students become familiar with the roles of wildlife biologists, conservationists, ecologists, naturalists, and botanists as they observe and investigate wildlife habitats, native plants and trees and the land itself. The students develop a real-world understanding of ecosystems and the importance of conserving and appreciating land.
Field trips are an integral part of the Center’s program. Field trips are designed to support student learning and expand understanding of the real world issues and challenges being addressed in each unit.
In addition to having students visit facilities and professionals who are addressing the real world issues students are studying in their units, program personnel also arrange for key members of the community to come to the Center and work directly with individual classrooms and groups of students. The visitors contribute to student learning in a variety of ways, from doing presentations and conducting demonstrations to answering questions, sharing research techniques and giving feedback on student projects.