AP Story on the NESSC's League of Innovative Schools
Among them is a school in Deer Isle, Maine, which has developed a marine studies program.
By LISA RATHKE
Associated Press / May 19, 2013
WILLIAMSTOWN, Vt. (AP) — Failing 9th grade for the second year in row, A.J. Swan had accepted that he wasn’t going to graduate from his Vermont high school. He'd barely made it this far, after being held back in 7th grade.
It wasn’t that he wasn’t learning, he said, but he didn’t find what he was learning important and didn’t feel a need to write it down — as homework and papers — to show he knew it.
‘‘It wasn’t like a good feeling,’’ he said of knowing that he wouldn’t get a high school diploma.
That was until the school stepped in last year and offered him some alternative ways to prove what he knew — by writing papers on topics he was interested in, taking assessments and enrolling in a hands-on learning environment at a technical school where he has thrived in video. He’s set to graduate this spring and wants to become a documentary filmmaker.
‘‘We'll be proud to send him out there,’’ said Alicia Rominger, a social studies teacher and learning coordinator at Williamstown Middle High School. ‘‘He has the skills that he needs. Isn’t that the end all? He'll be able to go out and write, read, think, compute.’’
The school is part of the League of Innovative Schools, a network of 56 schools in Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, Connecticut and Rhode Island working to improve their programs and share ideas with other member schools. The teachers and administrators meet with other like-minded schools in regional meetings to exchange ideas about what has worked and what has failed, and to build momentum for change.
Systems Change: Five New England States at a Time
From a KnowledgeWorks World of Learning blog post by Lillian Pace
A truly remarkable education transformation is underway in five New England states–CT, ME, NH, RI, and VT–inspired by the idea that every child can graduate from high school with the skills and knowledge to succeed in life. This transformation–called proficiency-based learning (aka: competency, mastery, or standards-based)–flips the education system on its head, providing multiple pathways, extra time, and intensive supports for a truly customized learning experience.
I was fortunate to experience this transformation first hand last week, thanks to an impressive tour led by the Great Schools Partnership. This organization is impacting every level of the system: from the grassroots coaching partnerships they have with schools and districts throughout the region to the high-level systems change conversations they lead as the coordinator for the New England Secondary Schools Consortium (NESSC). My big take-away from the tour is this: These leaders have the right vision for learning and an incredibly talented team of experts to help make that vision a reality.
High School Redesign in Action Presenting School Receives Praise for Innovative Bridge Year Program
Hermon High School has been selected to present at the 2013 High School Redesign in Action Conference and will be sharing information on their innovative Bridge Year program.
Count Down to High School Redesign in Action Conference
The New England Secondary School Consortium’s upcoming conference is highlighting competency-based (or proficiency-based) models from Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont
NESSC Council Member Dr. Steven Pound Receives NASBE Distinguished Service Award
Our congratulations to Dr. Steven Pound, NESSC Council member and chair of the Maine State Board of Education, for receiving the 2012 Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of State Boards of Education.
New Vermont Members Inducted into the League of Innovative Schools
On March 28th, the Vermont Department of Education announced the newest members of the League of Innovative Schools: Brattleboro Union High School, U-32 Junior and Senior High School, Burlington High School and Rochester High School.
High School Redesign Conference Draws Crowd
Every year, our High School Redesign in Action conference is an opportunity for educators from across the Northeast to share success stories, exchange innovative solutions, and connect with colleagues. This year, more than 425 participants will be in attendance.
New England Secondary School Consortium Receives National Recognition for State Educational Innovation
On July 7, 2011, the Education Commission of the States will honor the New England Secondary School Consortium as the recipient of the prestigious 2011 Frank Newman Award for State Innovation during its 2011 National Forum on Education Policy in Denver.
Vermont DOE Announces New Grant Program to Support High School Innovation
A recently announced Vermont Department of Education grant program will support high schools committed to developing sustainable models of innovation. Recipients of the grant will be inducted into the New England Secondary School Consortium's League of Innovative Schools.
Announcing the League of Innovative Schools!
The League of Innovative Schools is our new collaboration-driven regional support program for secondary schools. As members, participating schools will become part of a growing network of secondary institutions working to improve programs, exchange expertise, and create more student-centered learning opportunities.