Davis School District insists on utilizing small learning communities and pathways


Davis High School has a program that consists of small learning communities and pathways.  “I think it’s a District decision to try to encourage students to make decisions about career and direction and have some goals as far as study and career,” said counselor, Mr. Kawa. “It’s been around a long time to help you decide on a direction in choosing a major within college and a direction to go into school and choosing classes within your high school that helps you prepare for whatever you’re going to study in college.”  Many students took a test to determine their pathway before high school started so that they could have a direction they would want to take with their classes.

“…There is multiple pathways within …each small learning community,” Mr. Kawa said.  On the school website http://www.davis.k12.ut.us/708  underneath Organizations then SLC schools there are five schools, or small learning communities. In each small learning community there are varying number of pathways. Then in every pathway there are required classes and also elective classes.

Some Davis students have opinions on the pathways. Sophomore Skylar Hemmert said, “It’s…different kind of classes you take…so for like when you’re in college you can kind of narrow down what you want to do in the future.”

Sophomore Maryann Demelo said, “I believe that pathways are classes you take in a certain area like consumer sciences, physical education, things like that, so a certain amount of classes to be in that pathway.” Skylar and Maryann are right because pathways allow students to try out subjects that they might want to take in college and many similar classes are grouped in the same pathway.

College programs and jobs like to see experience from people and the pathways and the specific classes that need to be taken to graduate from a pathway provides experience. “If you don’t have a specific idea… or goal how do I [meaning a student] become an art major and…know that I want to be a dance major and not… be striving,[and] have some experience when I’m trying to apply for… or do an audition for dance if I haven’t had any experience in that before?” Mr. Kawa said. He also said that an art department could say, “How do I as an art department say yeah ‘I want you, we’ll give you money within the art department to study performing arts’ unless…[the student has] specific background in that area?”

Pathways are groups of classes that, if used correctly, can give students experience for a profession.