New England Secondary School Consortium

2010 School Redesign in Action Conference

 Complete Program (.PDF)

 

NESSC States

Connecticut Sessions

Overcoming Instructional Hurdles: Improving instruction and Student Learning in a Connecticut Technical High School

A.I. Prince Technical High School, Hartford, Connecticut

A team from A.I. Prince Technical High School—representing one of the sixteen regional high schools in the Connecticut Technical High School System—will present its approach to school improvement that has resulted in a steady rise in standardized test scores. The story of A.I. Prince parallels the story of the Connecticut Technical High School System district, whose commitment to improving academic rigor and achievement has resulted in improved test scores. A.I. Prince not only embraced and adopted the district’s initiatives, but it also initiated several school-based approaches to instructional improvement, including research-based strategies, a school-wide focus on writing, instructional data teams, and student interventions such as labs in English language arts and math. A model for continuous improvement, A.I. Prince presents the journey of academic transformation that began in 2003 when the school was identified as being in need of improvement to today, where it now stands at the threshold of successfully achieving Adequate Yearly Progress.

Session
TBD
Presenters

William Chaffin (principal), Sal Randazzo (executive coach), Lisa Higgins (school counseling coordinator), Polly Innerarity (graphic communications department head), Deidre Shaw (science department head)

Presentation
Contact

William Chaffin, william.chaffin@ct.gov

Reap What You Sow! Promoting a Positive School Culture

Frederick Underwood Conard High School and William H. Hall High School, West Hartford, Connecticut

This workshop will provide participants with proactive, holistic strategies to create and sustain a positive, safe, welcoming, and high-impact school culture. Two sister schools will share highlights from their collaboratively developed programs, including their inclusive curriculum and various school measures intended to foster an atmosphere of acceptance, security, and encouragement. Educators will learn the dynamics of how school-wide activities, coupled with grade-specific programs, can promote recognition of diversity, reinforce respect, and reduce bullying and harassment. Homeroom advisories, diversity awareness showcases, educational assemblies that enlighten and empower students, and prevention programs that educate teens about healthy relationships and responsible choices are among the strategies and programs that will be profiled. Presenters will also describe the Student Success Team model (a “school watch” procedure for students to seek assistance for themselves or their peers when behaviors of concern emerge) and share successful outcomes of grade-specific programs and activities, such as a developmental guidance series, peer leadership/mentor models, and various student-driven transition activities designed to increase student engagement and feelings of pride and school-community attachment for every pupil.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Roszena Haskins (assistant principal, Conard) or Donna Namnoum (assistant principal, Hall)

Presentation
Contact

Roszena Haskins, roszena_haskins@whps.org

Student Success Plans: Planning for the success of all students

New Fairfield Public Schools, New Fairfield, Connecticut

Planning for the success of every middle school and high school student in New Fairfield, Connecticut, is key to our secondary reform goals. Beginning in middle school, every student works with a guidance counselor, team leader, and parent to create an individualized student success plan. This plan is revised every year from middle school through high school, helping students stay connected to their learning and achieve post-high school educational and career goals. The plan includes goal setting, monitoring of personal and academic development, postsecondary and career exploration, and a capstone project. New Fairfield’s student success plans integrate the best features of personalized education plans and advisor-advisee programs, and they culminate in a senior-year capstone project, known as the Senior Enrichment Experience. Our high school seniors led the inception of the capstone experience, co-designed the program with administration, and presented the idea to staff and the board of education for acceptance—and they continue to be an inspiration as they organize the entire program every year. Please join the assistant superintendent, middle school counselors, and three high school senior leaders as they share and discuss New Fairfield’s approach to student success.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Alicia M. Roy (assistant superintendent), Amy Jacques (middle school counselor), Megan Sheehan (middle school counselor), Mary Grace DeSantis (student), Christina Joseph (student), Ryan Murrin (student)

Presentation
Contact

Maine Sessions

Heterogeneous Grouping, Smaller Learning Communities, and Interventions: How to Raise Graduation Rates and Send More Students to College

Noble High School, North Berwick, Maine

Noble High School, with its 1,035 students, has eliminated tracking and grouped students into three vertically aligned academies. In this setting, students are known well by their teachers who meet regularly in interdisciplinary Professional Learning Groups to personalize learning and improve instruction. This highly personalized environment also ensures students receive the just-in-time supports necessary to stay on track and graduate on time. Over the last few years, the percentage of students meeting state standards has increased, as has the number of students enrolling and persisting in college, while the percentage of students dropping out has decreased. Participants will learn about Noble’s comprehensive approach to personalization, including the school’s effective dropout-preventions strategies.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Joseph Findlay (principal), Richard Landry (assistant principal), Nancy Simard (guidance director), Shelly Lajoie (guidance counselor)

Presentation
Contact

Joe Findlay, jfindlay@sad60.k12.me.us

How De-Tracking, Open Access to AP, a Focus on Literacy, and Common Syllabi Successfully Transformed Our High School

Oak Hill High School, Wales, Maine

In just a few years since being placed on Maine’s list of Continuous Improvement Schools, Oak Hill embarked on a path toward successful transformation. A comprehensive school improvement plan was put in place that emphasized college-readiness for every student. Homogeneous classes were eliminated. All teachers participated in professional development emphasizing literacy. The entire school took part in a statewide initiative that supported the development of common syllabi that were reviewed by an external reviewer. In just two years, the percentage of students meeting or exceeding state standards as measured by the Maine High School Assessment (the SAT), rose dramatically in reading and math for the entire school and for each measurable sub-group.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Patricia Doyle (principal), Patti LeBlanc (teacher), Julie Boucher (teacher)

Presentation
Contact

Patricia E. Doyle, pat.doyle@rsu4.org

Standards-Based Grading and Reporting: Our School’s Journey to Make Sure All Students Are Ready for College, Work, and Citizenship

Searsport High School, Searsport, Maine

District High School committed to creating a fully standards-based educational program. This change will soon be the law of the land as the state of Maine passes a new high school graduation bill. While there will be a timeline for all high schools to comply, Searsport chose to be ahead of the curve, immediately implementing our program. With a comprehensive system of just-in-time interventions, professional learning communities, grade-level teams, and personalized learning, students at Searsport have made significant achievement gains, and the school’s standards-based graduation policy has become a model for other schools in the region.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Gregg Palmer (principal), Gerry Crocker (school coach, Great Schools Partnership)

Presentation
Contact

Gregg Palmer, gpalmer@msad56.org

New Hampshire Sessions

Creating a Community of the Whole Serves All of the Parts

Great Bay eLearning Charter School, Exeter, New Hampshire

The Great Bay eLearning Charter School faces the same daily struggles as any public secondary school—student uncertainty, parent mix-ups, teacher stress, and the administrative paper chase. However, the school has been able to both strive and survive by understanding that all members of the school community need a voice and need to feel valued. It is the strong community that supports the learning and success of Great Bay’s eclectic mix of alternative learners. In an environment where all students are accepted for who they are, not in spite of it, positive relationships are essential. The co-principals of Great Bay will offer insights about how the strong culture of this little school has evolved and improved over the past six years. They will suggest strategies for improving school climate and share stories of both their successes and failures. A student panel will be on hand to discuss the Great Bay learning experience from their own perspective.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Cheryl York McDonough (co-principal), Peter Stackhouse (co-principal), Cammie Proulx (student), Stephanie Ramsey (student), Taylor Nelson (student)

Contact

Cheryl York McDonough, cmcdonough@sau16.org

Using Benchmark Assessments to Improve Instruction: Why Process and Product Are Uniquely Important to Success

Nashua High School North, Nashua, New Hampshire

Nashua High Schools North and South are closing in on the final of five benchmark assessments in reading and math that have spanned two and half years. The data generated from these 8th, 9th, and 10th grade standardized tests have helped school leaders identify specific problem areas and make appropriate adjustments to instruction. The results have been dramatic—significant increases in reading and writing scores with rising scores in mathematics as well. While higher achievement is the ultimate goal, job-embedded professional development and a more viable professional learning community have resulted from the assessment work. Teachers have developed a common assessment language and a growing arsenal of activities that help them formatively assess students and improve classroom practice. This presentation will explain the process behind this successful strategy and provide a template for other schools to follow.

Session
TBD
Presenters

David Ryan (principal), Keith Richard (assistant principal), Chris Motika (assistant principal), Christopher Saunders (head English teacher)

Presentation
Contact

David Ryan, ryand@nashua.edu

Virtual Learning: Your Partner in Transforming Learning

Virtual Learning Academy Charter School, Exeter, New Hampshire

The Virtual Learning Academy Charter School is an online school based in New Hampshire whose mission is to personalize learning for all students. The school has become tremendously successful having grown from 700 to over 7,000 course enrollments in its first two years of operation. The school’s programming is available to students and schools throughout New England. Please join members of the Virtual Learning Academy staff and learn how the school’s innovative approach to teaching and learning in the 21st century can support your own efforts to transform education through personalized, online learning.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Steve Kossakoski (chief executive officer) and Gary Tirone (chief learning officer)

Presentation
Contact

Steve Kossakoski, skossakoski@vlacs.org

Rhode Island Sessions

Changing the High School Culture Through Accountability and Collaboration

Chariho Regional High School, Wood River Junction, Rhode Island

Over the last ten years the culture at Chariho Regional High School has changed dramatically by holding everyone in the school to a high standard of accountability and organizing the schedule to provide teachers with an opportunity to collaborate on a regular basis with a focused purpose. Chariho High School moved from a school that was low performing and not improving to a Regents Commended School. There is a clear focus on teaching and learning, and there are high expectations for student achievement and teacher performance. Presenters from the high school will share evidence of the transformation. Attendees will get some practical ideas on how they might handle situations related to job performance and holding the entire school community accountable to the mission of the school. Participants will be given opportunities to ask questions and network with other attendees.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Bob Mitchell (principal), Elizabeth Sinwell (assistant principal for teaching and learning), Stacy Haines-Mayne (guidance director), Margaret Arsenault (special education department chair)

Presentation
Contact

Robert Mitchell, ramit@chariho.k12.ri.us

Transforming a High School Using Common Assessments

Coventry High School, Coventry, Rhode Island

By using common assessments in all disciplines, Coventry High School has transformed the way in which students are assessed and how teachers examine student work to inform their instruction. By taking existing projects, which at one time applied to only some students in the school, the faculty developed assessment tasks with sufficient rigor and relevance that these projects became graduation requirements for all students. The presenters will relate the story, philosophy, and assumptions behind the inception and implementation of common tasks and assessments, as well as their journey to move 170 faculty and 1,800 students to this new school-wide practice. An easy-to-use framework for developing, validating, and applying the components of common assessments and tasks in their school will be shared with participants.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Arthur Lisi (assistant principal/guidance director), Chuck Branchaud (math teacher), Anthony Marsella (culinary arts teacher), Donna Tobin (English teacher), Kathleen Sullivan (science department chair)

Presentation
Contact

Michael Hobin (principal), hobinmichael@coventryschools.net

Multiple Pathways: Leading Our Students to Success in the Colleges and Careers of the 21st Century

Woonsocket High School, Woonsocket, Rhode Island

Woonsocket High School’s changing culture can be attributed to its embrace of new ideas and commitment to a fluid process of continuous improvement. Administrators and staff are building a foundation for student learning and growth that is driven by the core belief in college and career readiness for all. One of the school’s most transformative strategies, multiple pathways, developed naturally over the years as it became apparent—after analyzing data such as graduation and course failures rates—that the traditional high school model was not meeting the needs of all students, especially in a community as linguistically and culturally diverse as Woonsocket. At Woonsocket, conventional and non-conventional methods of transmitting knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values coexist and complement each other in an effort to help all students achieve their maximum potential. Early evidence indicates that this approach is working. For instance, between 2007 and 2009, the school’s dropout rate decreased by 12% and the college-acceptance rate increased by 16%. Please join educators and students from Woonsocket as they share the practical strategies that helped make multiple pathways a success.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Lourenço Garcia (principal), Lynne Bedard (career and technical education center director), Janet Sullivan (special education coordinator), Daniel Richard (JROTC program coordinator), Mike Ferry (coordinator of technology and e-learning), Brad Fesmire (Riverzedge Arts Project director), Maggie Koosa (21st Century Community Learning Centers site coordinator) Jintana Souvannavongsa (student), Emily Luther (student), Jacob Khaled (student), Rachel Miale (student)

Presentation
Contact

Lourenço Garcia, lourenco.garcia@gmail.com

Vermont Sessions

A 21st Century Curriculum: Relevant, Project-based, Student-centered Learning

Milton High School, Milton, Vermont

Two years ago Milton High School undertook a complete revision of its core curriculum in grades 9–12. Using the conceptual framework developed by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills as a starting point, Milton High School set out to design curricula and instructional practices that modeled creativity, innovation, critical thinking, and collaboration using relevant, project-based, student-centered strategies that focused on real-world skills that students could apply outside of high school and in whatever life path they chose. To avoid the trap of incrementalism and stay within tight budgetary limitations, Milton developed a comprehensive, systematic improvement process that fluidly moved from development of new curricula to the implementation of a 1:1 technology initiative starting with this year’s freshman class to the delivery of the professional development needed to make it all successful in the classroom. Join educators from Milton High School as they share the challenges and successes faced on the way to realizing a 21st century learning program for every student.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Kerry Sewell (director of curriculum), Anne Blake (co-principal), Scott Thompson (assistant principal), Katri O’Neill (technology integration specialist), Karen Hammond (teacher), Angela King (teacher) Jason Gorczyk (teacher), Amanda Notman (special educator)

Contact

Scott Thompson, sthompson@mtsd-vt.org

Windham Regional Collegiate High School Program

Windham Regional Career Center, Brattleboro, Vermont

Young people from middle and upper ends of the socioeconomic scale are almost five times more likely to earn a two year or four year college degree than those from low income families. The Windham Regional Collegiate High School Program reaches out to first generation high school students and others who may not have succeeded in traditional classroom settings in ways that will make a college education possible. The program offers students the opportunity to spend the last two years of high school enrolled in a course of study through which they can receive both a high school diploma and college credit.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Ron Stahley (superintendent), David Coughlin (director), and Tom Yahn (program director)

Presentation
Contact

David Coughlin, dcoughlin@wsesu.org

NESSC

“Does this Assignment Count?” Focus on Formative Instruction and Assessment, A Critical Component in a Proficiency-Based System

Bonny Eagle High School, ME

Learn about Bonny Eagle High School’s transition to a proficiency-based system, which has been ongoing for the past five years. The work began with the identification of standards and development of summative assessments and is currently focused on formative instruction. Using a combination of Assessment For Learning (AFL) strategies, technology, and teacher ingenuity, we are improving instructional practices. As a result, student engagement is increasing and the number of students who need to remediate assessments is dropping.

Participants will see how we are getting a big impact with the use of a 1/2 time instructional coach and a handful of AFL teacher leaders to help change instruction building-wide. Learn how this work is not “one more thing” but can reduce teacher stress. At the same time, our students are beginning to take ownership of their learning.

Participants will leave with an understanding of how one high school is improving student learning by focusing on the identification of clear learning targets and helping students track their own progress as they prepare for summative assessments.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Kate Dumont (instructional coach), Erin Maguire (assistant principal), Lori Napolitano (principal)

“But How Will My Child Get Into College?”: Creating Proficiency-Based Transcripts

Baxter Academy for Technology and Science, Portland, ME

How can schools create a transcript that accurately represents student achievement in a proficiency-based system? At Baxter Academy, students do not receive a single grade at the end of a course, so traditional reports and transcripts are not an option.

After redesigning its grading scale and assessment system, Baxter Academy created an easy-to-read, easy-to-interpret transcript that represents a student’s learning over time.  Baxter’s unique transcript is built around accurate reporting on student achievement of standards using graphs and charts. The school is piloting this transcript with its first graduating class and will have feedback from post-secondary institutions as well as college acceptances to share.

Participants will learn about Baxter’s unique grading and assessment system and transcript and will leave with ideas about how to bring this authentic approach to standards-based reporting back to their schools.

Sessions
Friday, March 18, 10:45am; Friday, March 18, 1:15pm
Presenters

Katherine Driver (director of guidance), Nathaniel Edmunds (design teacher)

Presentation
Contact

“But I Have 120 Students on My Roster!”: Building Partnerships with Families in Secondary Schools

1647 Families, MA

A myth of secondary school family engagement that we hear too often is that families want to drop their kids off in ninth grade and pick them up at graduation. Is this true? (Hint: Nope.) Families want to be engaged! But even if they know that we should build partnerships with families, secondary school teachers and staff can feel overwhelmed by the thought of engaging with every family regularly, especially when they may teach over one hundred different students a year.

In this session, presenters from 1647 Families and the schools they partner with will lead an honest conversation about how the work of strengthening family engagement and partnerships is currently being done in 1647 partner schools. Presenters will explore these questions: How can staff members build equal partnerships with families in the middle- and high-school space? How can we “undo” the power dynamic between school and home that exists? And how do we create welcoming schools for all families—and support staff in doing so?

Participants will receive a brief overview of positive family engagement strategies, including proactive positive communication, re-vamped academic events (e.g., conferences), and home visits. They will also hear about the strategies that have not worked, and the lessons learned from them. Participants will walk away with tactics to try in their classrooms, teams, and/or school.

Session
Student, Family, + Community Engagement
Presenters

Elizabeth Canada (Director of Coaching)

Presentation

Elizabeth Canada, 

elizabeth.canada@1647families.org

“The Future of Learning is Yours”: Personalization through Student-Designed Projects

Westerly High School, RI

In this session, participants will hear about one school’s innovative initiative to provide alternative paths to student success with a student-designed personalized learning opportunity, which allowed students to design their own individualized learning pathways. Presenters will share how they believe this high-quality learning opportunity deepens its commitment to equity for all learners.

Presenters will outline their framework for planning and implementing a dynamic student-centered, student-motivated, student-driven project-based course. They will share their implementation strategies and explain how the course found its rhythm. Students will present their “passion projects” and comment on how their autonomy contributed to rich learning, original craftsmanship, and meaningful assessments. They will explain how their work habits connected to their academic performance.

Participants will learn to plan and grow a vibrant and personalized project-based learning course completely driven by student choices.

Session
Teaching + Learning
Presenters

Erica DeVoe (English Teacher), Michelle Doucette (Student), Todd Grimes (Principal), Jazmyne Kinney (Student), Tony Lementowicz (Instructional Coordinator), Thomas Mclaughlin (Student), Denise Oliveira (English Teacher), Hayley Townsend (Student)

Contact

A 21st Century Curriculum: Relevant, Project-based, Student-centered Learning

Milton High School, Milton, Vermont

Two years ago Milton High School undertook a complete revision of its core curriculum in grades 9–12. Using the conceptual framework developed by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills as a starting point, Milton High School set out to design curricula and instructional practices that modeled creativity, innovation, critical thinking, and collaboration using relevant, project-based, student-centered strategies that focused on real-world skills that students could apply outside of high school and in whatever life path they chose. To avoid the trap of incrementalism and stay within tight budgetary limitations, Milton developed a comprehensive, systematic improvement process that fluidly moved from development of new curricula to the implementation of a 1:1 technology initiative starting with this year’s freshman class to the delivery of the professional development needed to make it all successful in the classroom. Join educators from Milton High School as they share the challenges and successes faced on the way to realizing a 21st century learning program for every student.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Kerry Sewell (director of curriculum), Anne Blake (co-principal), Scott Thompson (assistant principal), Katri O’Neill (technology integration specialist), Karen Hammond (teacher), Angela King (teacher) Jason Gorczyk (teacher), Amanda Notman (special educator)

Contact

Scott Thompson, sthompson@mtsd-vt.org

A Call to Leadership: Harnessing the Power of Student Voice in Leading School Improvement

Harwood Union High School, Moretown, VT

At Harwood Union High School, students are not only taking a proactive role in designing their own education and planning for future learning, but in serving as leaders in the school community responsible for creating the systems and structures necessary to ensure a personalized education is possible.

In this interactive session, administrators and teachers from Harwood Union will focus on the benefits of a shared leadership model in which adults and youth lead together. The presentation will provide the rationale for this type of shared leadership model and describe the practical elements as they relate to the implementation of personalized learning.

Participants will have the opportunity to construct a proposal or plan for instituting a distributed and shared leadership model inclusive of teachers and students in their school, and will leave with an understanding of the benefits of a distributed and shared leadership model inclusive of both teachers and students.

Sessions
Thursday, March 17, 2:15pm; Thursday, March 17, 3:45pm
Presenters

Emma Cosgrove (student), Noah Eckstein (student), Jonah Ibson (teacher), Sam Krotinger (teacher), Cole Lavoie (student), Hazel Macmillan (student), Amy Rex (principal)

Contact

Amy Rex, arex@wwsu.org

A Collaborative Approach to Dropout Prevention: It’s All About the KID!

North Country Charter Academy, Littleton, NH

North Country Charter Academy is a mission-driven public charter school collaborating with ten school districts to solve an intractable dropout problem. The school offers a personalized, competency-based curriculum that utilizes a blended, distance-learning model in which students work independently and at their own pace in a brick-and-mortar building with the support of a certified teaching staff. Students are provided multiple pathways and opportunities by which to complete high school, and they earn credit when they demonstrate mastery of subject matter. Over the past ten years, the model has contributed significantly to a 74% reduction in the number of dropouts in Grafton and Coos Counties in Northern New Hampshire and has graduated a total of 362 students – 78 of which had been prior high school dropouts.

Participants will leave this session with a clear understanding of how the North Country model operates and how they can adapt this model for use in any type of educational setting.

Sessions
Thursday, March 26 | 3:45 pm; Friday, March 27 | 9:15 am
Presenters

Scott Kleinschrodt (center director), Lisa Lavoie (principal), Greg Williams (Teacher), Lynne Grigelevich (Registrar)

Presentation
Contact

A Commitment to Change: Informing School Redesign with Student Voices

Come hear three students reflect on equity in education, the meaning of success, and authentic student engagement. Tianna Ridge (Attleboro High School, MA), Jamaal Hankey (Essex High School, VT), and Anna Parker (Yarmouth High School, ME) will discuss the experiences and relationships that have contributed to their success. Tianna, Jamaal, and Anna will share their hopes for all students, and will challenge us to think about how we can each support, inspire, and engage all of the young people with whom we work. At the close of the plenary, participants will be asked to make a personal commitment to learning and leading for equity in their own way, informed by these students’ perspectives.

Session
Tuesday, March 13, 8:00-8:30 AM
Presenters

Jamaal Hankey (Student, Essex High School, VT), Andrea Summers (Senior Associate, Great Schools Partnership), Moises Nuñez (Senior Associate, Great Schools Partnership), Anna Parker (Student, Yarmouth High School, ME), Tianna Ridge (Student, Attleboro High School, MA)

A Critical Conversation about Racial Equity in Northern New England

MaineSpark, ME

How should states in northern New England approach issues of racial and ethnic equity in their education systems? What does it mean to achieve equity and close gaps in a largely homogenous region? This session will draw on Maine’s experience of developing a big-tent alliance of organizations in the education sector and beyond to address these crucial issues. We’ll share key lessons from the efforts of the New England Alliances for College and Career Readiness more broadly, then explore in depth the Maine alliance’s work to balance its focus on racial and economic equity. Session participants will learn about, analyze and discuss the work of MaineSpark’s Future Success track to empower racially diverse student populations to reach college and career readiness. Educate Maine will then lead participants in a critical conversation about approaching equity in their own classrooms, schools and districts.

Session participants will learn about approaches to discussing and working toward racial and ethnic equity in education systems, reflect on lessons learned from Maine in this area, and leverage their own expertise and experiences to generate new ideas for connecting with and engaging diverse communities in authentic ways.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Ed Cervone (executive director, Educate Maine), Kate Leveille (project manager, MaineSpark), Emily Weiss (principal, Education First Consulting)

A Mastery-Based Lesson on Mastery-Based Learning

High School in the Community, New Haven, CT

In this session, presenters will describe how High School in the Community has advanced mastery-based learning to help all students take more responsibility over their own education, while they also address skill deficits, acquire college- and career-ready skills, and excel in their areas of interest. To make the session more resonant and authentic for participants, it will be structured as a mastery-based lesson! So whether you have never heard of mastery-based learning, or whether you already changing practices in your school or classroom, our mastery-based approach will both broaden and deepen your understanding.

Session
Friday, March 21 | 9:15 am + 10:45 am
Presenters

Erik Good (building leader), Gail Emilsson (teacher), Adeline Marzialo (teacher), Julie Vargas (student)

Presentation
Contact

A New Way of Building Partnerships with Families

The Right Question Institute, MA

When parents and family members have the opportunity to develop key skills to support their children’s education, monitor progress, and advocate for them when necessary, they can partner more effectively with schools to ensure student success. The Right Question Institute’s evidence-based school-family partnership builds parents’ skills of asking better questions, participating in decisions, and playing three key roles in their child’s education. Using this strategy, parents learn to ask their own questions about their children’s education, and educators learn how to build parents’ skills for more effective participation by using a set of simple methods.

Session participants will experience the school-family partnership strategy, will explore the art and science behind the methods, and will practice integrating them into their work. This session will prepare participants to use this strategy, which has been applied to a variety of setting producing consistent results, at their schools and share it with colleagues.

In this session, participants will: 1) experience the Right Question Institute’s school-family partnership strategy 2) explore examples of implementation of the strategy; 3) acquire resources and materials.

Session
Monday, March 12, 8:30 -11:00 AM
Presenters

Luz Santana (co-director) 

Contact

Luz Santana, luz@rightquestion.org

A Sample System for Proficiency-Based Learning in the Classroom

Burlington High School, Burlington, VT

This session will introduce participants to the key elements of proficiency-based learning through an in-depth investigation of the instructional process in a high school chemistry course. The presenters will describe a flexible instructional cycle that includes frequent formative assessment and a balance of whole-class instruction and personalized time for practice, re-teaching, tutoring, and extension work. They will also share systems and strategies that teachers can use to manage highly differentiated classrooms, empower students to monitor their own learning, and create a growth-mindset culture. Additional examples from the humanities, mathematics, world languages, ELL classes, and other scientific disciplines will also be discussed to illustrate how Burlington High School teachers are applying proficiency-based structures across the curriculum.

Participants will leave with concrete strategies and an array of materials they can adapt in their own classrooms, and ample time will be provided for participants to ask questions and participate in discussion.

Session
Friday, March 27 | 10:45 am + 1:15 pm
Presenters

Amy Dickson (teacher learning coordinator), Molly Heath (science teacher)

Presentation
Contact

Amy Dickson, amy@partnershipvt.org

A Three-Step Process for Successful Learning Using Self-Assessment, Peer-Assessment, and Reassessment Effectively

Poland Regional High School, ME

At Poland Regional High School, a flagship public high school for proficiency-based education in Maine, an emphasis on self- and peer-assessment and a school-wide process for reassessment has supported students towards successfully reaching their learning goals. Teachers have implemented classroom tasks specifically designed from the current leading guidelines for self- and peer-assessment in hopes of making each student’s learning process transparent. Furthermore, a school-wide process for reassessment has been adopted to ensure each student has the opportunity to demonstrate their best learning on summative assessments. In this session we will walk you through the process that our science, math, and humanities classes have developed for self- and peer-assessment as well as outline the process we took to develop our school-wide reassessment protocol.

Participants will leave this session with practical approaches to teaching self- and peer-assessment; an understanding of how reassessment opportunities can reinforce learning and how assessment strategies are managed in a proficiency based/ standards-based system.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Jessica Elias Castillo (science teacher), Patrick Martin (biology and anatomy/physiology teacher), Laurie Sevigny (social studies teacher)

A Vision for Learning: Using Self-Reflection and Peer Review to Align Your School Improvement Efforts

New England Association of Schools and Colleges, MA

In this session participants will learn how to use research-based NEASC CPS Standards which define best practices as a tool for self-reflection and peer review. Through a process of self-reflection based on evidence and in collaboration with stakeholders, schools can develop a vision for learning with specific and measurable goals for success. Participants will use collaborative practices to explore the NEASC CPS Standards for Accreditation, focusing on student learning. We will do a crosswalk with the Global Best Practices to see how to align school improvement efforts. Participants will experience elements of the self-reflection process including the review of student work, classroom observations, document review, survey data, stakeholder interviews, and peer review. With the Standards in mind and the understanding of the essential components of self-reflection, participants will develop an outline for a process to improve learning, achievement, and well-being for students.

Session
TBD
Presenters

Alyson Geary (deputy director), Bill Wehrli (associate director)

Agents of Their Own Learning: A District’s Proficiency-Based System Enters Maturity

Regional School Unit 2, Hallowell, ME

Regional School Unit 2 has been implementing K–12 proficiency-based learning for several years now. Join the presenters as they describe how their model has given students significant amounts of voice and choice in their learning. In the district’s three high schools, students have authentic opportunities to design their own learning pathways, learn at their own pace, and engage in learning experiences that not only match their interests, but that build upon the resources and opportunities that exist in the wider community. In this session, participants will learn about the structure, schedule, and other design elements that have empowered the district to dramatically increase personalization for students without watering down standards.

Session
Thursday, March 20 | 2:15 pm + 3:45 pm
Presenters

Rick Amero (principal, Monmouth Academy), John Armentrout (director, information technology), Christine Arsenault (teacher, Monmouth Academy), Brenda Dalbeck (teacher, Hall-Dale High School), Virgel Hammonds (superintendent), Libby Ladner (teacher, Hall-Dale Middle School), Steve Lavoie (principal, Richmond High School), Eric Palleschi (teacher, Monmouth Middle School), Megan Rounds (teacher, Richmond High School), Matt Shea (coordinator of student achievement), Mark Tinkham (principal, Hall-Dale High/Middle School), Charlie Urquhart (teacher, Richmond High School)

Presentation
Contact

Virgel Hammonds, vhammonds@kidsrsu.org

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