The CAPS Network was formed to connect nodes of innovation in K-12 schools and develop an ecosystem approach to sharing best practices, troubleshooting challenges, and celebrating successes. Breaking down formerly competitive - and in some cases nonexistent - relationships between school districts is allowing for rapid prototyping of curriculum and acceleration of profession-based learning.
At CAPS, students are placed in a culture where they are treated as adults, own their learning, and make mistakes without punishment. Nearly all students come from learning environments that place the teacher in the front of the room as the ultimate authority figure. CAPS works to tear down that hierarchical culture and rebuild the learning experience as one that is collaborative, purposeful, active and authentic. Students drive the experience, with adults a coach and guide, going where the students lead.
Students work in a professional area of interest. Examples include bioscience, engineering, healthcare, innovation and technology. The curriculum adjusts to meet the passions of the students. Recent examples of student-client projects include the construction of a sensory chair for children with autism that was licensed internationally, a data analytics solution that saved Fortune 500 company over $2 million, and an app created to connect those with mental illness with supports.
The original CAPS program launched in 2009, and a few pilot affiliates started between 2012-2014. In 2015, the Blue Valley School District created the CAPS Network to connect nodes of educational innovation. As a result, there are currently over 13,000 students and over 40,000 alumni of CAPS programs. The network includes 100 affiliate programs and spans 23 states in the U.S. Five additional countries now engage. Connection to Hundred is driving new global activity, including affiliation in Kenya. We anticipate a minimum of five new countries launching CAPS in the next year directly because of our Hundred award! The speed of scale resulted in the 2021 formation of CAPS Network, Inc. - a nonprofit organization - to provide additional foundation support for this dynamic education movement.
We love connecting with others that share our purpose. Anyone interested in partnering should explore the CAPS Network website at https://yourcapsnetwork.org.
CAPS growth metrics are powerful and undeniable. In a recent survey completed by over 2,000 students, confidence jumped significantly in 12 categories of soft skills. Full results at https://tinyurl.com/CAPSNETF21.