I recently attended a presentation on the "Innovations High" school model. Ken Grover (Salt Lake City, Utah) and George Philhower (Wayne County, Indiana) led the program, a 1-day overview held in Little Rock.
NOTE: These are my notes and may not reflect completeness of the program and/or may contain my own personal opinions. Likewise, these notes reflect the speakers' views and not my own in some cases. This post serves to merely regurgitate what was covered during the program.
Personalize Learning Network
- We limit ourselves to thinking inside the box.
- Pacing Guides, etc
- Pillars of personalized learning
Ask your TEACHERS what they want.
What do your ADMINISTRATORS want?
What is stopping you from transforming your school? - Barriers
- Seat Time
- Sharing teachers across multiple grades
- Sports participation
- FEAR - "No one else is doing it"
- MINDSET - "We've never done it like that before"
- TRADITION - "We've always done it this way, and it has worked just fine"
- Money - How much will it cost to implement? Where do we get the money?
- Students not wanting it/Students that DO want it
- Labor force - Teachers, staff, etc.
Sometimes we put up our own barriers
Some barriers are not on "paper"
- Bell schedules
- School calendars
- Length of school days
- Why are we looking to change/transform?
- Why aren't we doing things differently?
- Why are we doing the things "we've always done?"
Technology is key where possible to make the job of teacher easier - replace mundane, easy, repetitive tasks with technology.
- Personalized learning = Student-Centered Learning
- Competency-based instruction = Mastery-based instruction
- Online learning = Virtual learning
- Blended Learning (FLEX)
- Not easy to blend certain classes:
- Auto Shop, Wood Shop
- World Languages
- Flipped Classroom
- "Technology" - Anything that makes the job easier
- Digital content/Digital Textbooks
- "Transformation" vs "Change" - "Change" implies could be changed back; "Transformation" implies permanency - not going back.
- Student control
- Digital content
- Transformation support
- Powerful technologies
- Curriculum resources - do *NOT* have your teachers create/build curriculum!
- Professional learning and coaching - Help teachers come together. [Perhaps a #twitchat!?]
- w/o Vision = Confusion
- w/o Action Plan = False Starts
- w/o Resources = Frustration
- w/o Skills = Anxiety
- w/o Altruistic Incentives = Resistance (Do *NOT* use monetary incentives!)
Imagine, create, innovate
Instructional levels replaced curriculum maps
Students progress via mastery instead of scope/sequence. Ex: 9 levels of mastery per "grade" (K.1, K.2, K.3, etc)
Students are grouped by readiness not by date-of-birth
Parents get continuous feedback
No letter grades in elementary school (in the Indiana program)
At High School, they have "School w/in School"
- Students applied to be in personalized learning program
- 4 periods (periods 2-5 during 8 period day)
- 4-5 classrooms available per period in a centralized location (students aren't roaming around)
- All teachers in program do personalized learning AND traditional teaching classes
- All teachers serve as mentors to students
- Students control:
- PACE - cannot fail
- PLACE - with help sometimes
- OWN LEARNING - use a learner profile to keep on course
- Increased valuable time w/teacher - small group, 1-to-1 w/teacher, etc
- Students talk about their path - they own it
- Teachers build relationships with the students (Same mentor throughout h.s. career)
- Higher graduation rate
- Wanted to give STUDENTS an unfair advantage
- 7a-5p school day - not all students at school at the same time
- No class periods, no bells w/in program (bells for transfer to trad. classes)
- Students are ENGAGED in learning all the time w/in program
- How/when they learn
- Seat time no longer matters
- Flexibility and freedom - working together to set hours, create lessons
- Meet individual student needs
- 1-to-1 and small group instruction
- may have large group discussions, though that is exception not rule
- Work toward college and/or career
- Personalized Education Plan (PEP) for students
- LMS is essential
- Graduate with college credit and/or industry certifications (CCNA, Welding, etc)
- 95% graduation rate
- 49% enrolled in college courses/448 credits passed
- (Other stats given in slides, but I did not take notes on them)