While most schools in the area don't start classes for a few weeks, Haskell Year-Round Academy in Rockford welcomed students back on Wednesday.
"It's an exciting day," said Principal Loree Leathers. "Parents are excited. Our returning kids are so happy to be back. Smiling faces on everyone. It's a great day."
While it's the beginning of the new school year it is also the start of a new curriculum as they become STEAM Academy. STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, arts, and math.
It's a non-traditional approach that brings different aspects of learning together.
Instead of traditional forty minute to and hour individual subject classes it will be all subjects integrated together. Leathers said, "It will be hands on students doing experiments. It will be kind of meshed together."
Student driven with close oversight from teachers. "Teachers will still do the planning, follow the standards, but students will drive a lot of the learning," said Leathers. "They'll be given a problem and they'll have to figure out the solution to the problem."
Haskell Academy is the first Rockford Public School to adopt this new approach. They hope through STEAM to give students more power in their education and breed the next group of world leaders.