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The mission of the Carlton Innovation School is to meet the needs of each individual student in a systematic and rigorous manner using a continuous progress approach to learning. The vision of the Carlton Innovation School is to provide intensive, personalized instruction that supports students’ continuous progress and learning at their own pace to achieve academic and social-emotional growth and mastery of standards. The structure of the Carlton Innovation School challenges traditions in order to provide the most flexible and personalized education possible.
The Carlton Innovation School in Salem, Massachusetts educates students in grades K-5 with a building capacity of 300 students. The school is based on student-centered learning within a trimester structure that accommodates "continuous progress." Teachers emphasize a personalized approach to teaching and learning tailored to each individual student’s needs. Students who demonstrate mastery at their grade level, transition to the next level three times per year, at the trimester mark. The amount of time spent at each grade level depends on each student’s needs - with some spending less than one year and others spending more. As a result, students can accelerate to the next grade based on academic abilities, social emotional benchmarks, and or age.