Positive Learning and Integrated Design (PLAID)

Making a Brain

What is PLAID, Positive Learning and Integrated Design?

The vision for all students is that they gain knowledge and skills leading them to independent, self-determined and productive lives. Their future and independence includes the ability to make and maintain healthy relationships and to gain meaningful employment. At Pace, we take seriously our responsiblity for helping students develop the skills necessary for success. Our unique educational model, Positive Learning and Integrated Design (PLAID), weaves the learning of soft skills and character traits into students’ academic lessons. It is an instructional framework (unit and lesson plan design) that intentionally and explicitly integrates social emotional learning, character development and academic/functional skill development. Lessons within the PLAID framework teach students essential character traits and social skills through hands-on and project based learning activities.PLAID

Why PLAID as our fabric?

We believe kids CAN learn and can have success in the future! We must prepare them for the challenges that they will face. Therefore, a holistic model that weaves mental wellness, social positive behavior and academics into every lesson will lead to better outcomes for our students.

What are teachers weaving into their lesson plans?

Pace teachers use technology, hands-on learning, peer-to-peer cooperative strategies and community connections to weave the social and emotional skills (SEL) into their academic and functional life skills lessons. Career exposure and opportunities for real world work experience are included in the instruction for students.

As a part of the PLAID holistic model, we have adopted the Hawn Foundation’s “MindUp” Curriculum.  This research-based curriculum features 15 lessons using the latest information about the brain to dramatically improve behavior and learning for all students. Each lesson offers easy strategies for helping students focus their attention, improve their self-regulation skills, build resilience to stress, and develop a positive mind-set in both school and life.

mind photosThe lessons focus on the four pillars of the program, which include neuroscience, mindful awareness, positive psychology, and social emotional learning.  This curriculum has been linked to reduction in absences, suspensions, bullying and fighting and developing better self-regulation.









Student learns about his brain and creates one from clay!