Minnetonka, MN - 2012
In the first year of the Big Hunt for Ideas in Minnetonka, two high school social studies teachers (Chris Pears and Brent Veninga) suggested our courses could do a better job representing the authentic world of work and 21st century application of learning. While our curriculum is rigorous, does it really prepare students for what’s next?
How Might We...
Chris and Brent worked with district administrators to locate model programs in the U.S. that were built on authenticity. After several visits to Blue Valley’s CAPS program in Kansas City, the teacher team launched Business in a Global Economy as a three-course integration (AP Econ, IB Business, English 12) and recruited 30 students to test their new course. Student feedback was very positive, and the program, now known as VANTAGE, took off from there.
Prototype, Test, and Scale
VANTAGE doubled its enrollment in Year #2, and then added two new integrations in Year #3. After the two lead teachers left Minnetonka to begin a consulting business, the district added two new strands and reached 200 students enrolled. New leadership took over in 2017-18, and current forecasts for Year #6 place the program on track for surpassing the 300 student mark.