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SCSD classroom makeover contest winners focus on personalized learning

Four Syracuse teachers selected for $5,000 classroom makeovers

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) - It doesn't take long to notice Marisa Licari's first grade classroom is unique in a number of ways.

Her winning personalized learning proposal in the Syracuse City School District made $5,000 available to make it happen for her and three other selected teachers in a classroom makeover contest.

The winners were announced last spring with the changes revealed for the 2018-2019 school year.

"I have 28 students and they all come to me with different personalities...different academic levels," Licari explained about her Franklin Elementary classroom. "When I personalized the learning, I am able to meet them where they are and move forward."

It's a learning path district leaders hope to extend into more classrooms.

"This is definitely something the district has embraced as a whole and is expecting all teachers to come along with," said Sarah Gentile, the SCSD fine arts supervisor.

If you take a look in Licari's classroom, the non-traditional seating choices is likely to stand out.

Licari says it enhances how her students learn because they are empowered by choices, ownership and more.

"I also see a lot with sharing," Licari said. "It's huge how one student might be sitting on the tire today and they take turns really well. They're held accountable and sharing and showing responsibility of all the different seats in the classroom."

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