New England Secondary School Consortium

League Members

October 21, 2016

Four Points by Sheraton, Norwood, MA
9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

LIS Meeting Feedback Survey

Meeting Outcomes

  1. Inform and support the ongoing development of the elements critical to the implementation of personalized learning;
  2. Network and share ideas, resources, and successes regarding the development, implementation, and refinement of an equitable personalized learning system.

Plenary Session | Leading + Learning for Equity

Session A | 10:15 am – 11:30 am

What is Your School's Commitment to Equity?

If we personalize learning without addressing equity we run the risk of personalizing learning standards and won’t be successful in decreasing the achievement gaps that persist in our nation’s schools. A deep commitment to examining a school’s practices and to explicitly addressing equity is necessary if we are to succeed in preparing all graduates for college and career readiness. This session will provide participants with hands-on, engaging tools and processes to bring back to their schools.

Presentation Slides

Community Engagement

As schools continue to bring about improved practices for student learning, it is very important that all stakeholders in the community are not just informed, but engaged in the changes.  In this session, participants will, through a variety of examples, better understand authentic school-community engagement.  Using a planning tool, participants will consider effective entry points for school and community engagement.  

Presentation Slides

School in the Spotlight | Nokomis Regional High


Mary Nadeau | Principal | Nokomis Regional High
Elizabeth Vigue | Teacher | Nokomis Regional High
Anne Dailey | Teacher | Nokomis Regional High

A team – one principal and two teachers – from Nokomis Regional High in Maine will share their approach to shared leadership and will discuss the journey toward a much more collaborative professional environment that has resulted in more equitable outcomes for all students, as well as increased student achievement, graduation rates, post-secondary participation, and attendance.

Presentation Slides

Promoting Inquiry + Higher Order Thinking

This session will examine and explore inquiry tasks as a tool to promote higher order thinking and student engagement. We will look at several models of inquiry tasks, discuss different times and ways to build inquiry into units and define conditions that support inquiry. Participants will also have an opportunity to apply these concepts to their own planning and to explore additional resources related to promoting inquiry and higher order thinking.

Presentation Slides


Shared Leadership

How can we create a culture of collaboration through shared leadership? Shared leadership, distributed leadership, transformative leadership- what are these and how do we get our schools there?  In this session, participants will consider aspects of a system of communication, transparency, and accountability that ensures fidelity to the school’s vision, mission, and action plan while honoring and valuing all stakeholder voices.  Emphasis will be placed on structures and processes that can help to develop a collaborative, respectful school culture where faculty is involved in critical instructional decisions and the design of professional development that foster a common vision and shared responsibility.

Presentation Slides

Session B | 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm

Summer Institute Networking

Did you and your colleagues attend the Summer Institute on Teaching & Learning in July?  In this session you will have a supported opportunity to re-engage with the Elements of Effective Instruction and connect with other participants from the Summer Institute on Teaching & Learning. Potential outcomes include: reflecting on progress of goals set at Institute; sharing practices and resources; planning visits or future opportunities for collaboration across schools.

Presentation Slides

Proficiency-Based Instruction Self-Assessment

It’s October. You’re getting to know your students pretty well, and you’re starting to recognize that there are a few that you just haven’t been able to reach yet. How can a self-assessment tool help you, as a teacher or administrator, grow your practice and improve learning experiences for all students? In this session, participants will build on their sense of collective efficacy. Through reflecting on elements of effective instruction, participants will consider ways that attention to these elements can help teachers reach all learners. Participants will leave with an awareness of their own efficacy to lead learning and strategies for using this self-assessment tool to enhance their own practice, focus professional learning group work, or design school-wide professional development.

Presentation Slides

Our Time: Student Voices + Youth/Adult Partnership


Helen Beattie | Executive Director | Up For Learning
Asia Bernatchy | Student | Twinfield Union School
Rory Whalen | Student | Twinfield Union School

It’s time for students to speak out about school redesign. Especially in Vermont, where new laws call for redesigning education, it’s essential for young people to be part of the conversation and part of the process as schools change. That engagement is the promise of “Our Time,” a song written, composed, and performed by Vermont students to express their hope for change that will make a difference to them, their communities, and the greater world they will soon enter.  This song is a springboard for dialogue about a myriad of issues in the path to personalized learning, including equity. Two of the song lyric writers, and Helen Beattie, UP for Learning Executive Director, will introduce to the song and a companion video of the lyric writers telling their story, lead a text based discussion about equity, and field questions about this journey.

Presentation Slides

Learning Network Sessions

In this session, one school will present a dilemma from their work.  Using a tuning protocol, a consultancy, or another protocol facilitated by a Great Schools Partnership coach, the participants in this session will provide feedback for the school team. Participants in past sessions have learned a great deal from being a part of this process and presenting school teams have appreciated the feedback provided.


Global Best Practices District Leadership Self-Assesment

How does my district align with current research on best practices to support personalization, equity, and rigor for all students? In this session, participants will have an opportunity to become familiar with the newest strand of the revised Global Best Practices self-assessment resource. An overview of the rationale for strand four, School District, will be provided and time will be allotted for engagement with dimensions 4.1 and 4.2.  Professional dialogue and collaboration will focus on the elements of district and board leadership and participants will leave with articulated next steps.

Presentation Slides


Session C | 1:45 pm – 3:00 pm

Ensuring Rigor + Consistency with Transferable Skills

“Communication,” “Self-Direction,” “Problem-Solving,” “Citizenship,” and “Informed Thinking;” whether you call these “Transferrable Skills”  “Cross-Curricular Standards,” “21st century skills,” or by any other title, these skills are critical for success in postgraduate study and careers. In this session, we will review research indicating the essential nature of these skills and explore effective practices for teaching and assessing them. We will also present information about an online cross-curricular skills assessment system that is being developed by Great Schools Partnership in collaboration with EdTechTeam, Inc. This online system will support the design, implementation and scoring of performance assessment tasks that measure the Cross-Curricular Skills; it will also enable students to collect and organize evidence of their proficiency.  Opportunities for educators and schools to assist in the design of this system and to pilot components of it will be discussed.

Presentation Slides

Actionable Feedback + Productive Student Practice

Crafting, giving, receiving and utilizing effective feedback are cornerstone learning skills for our students. As educators, how can we maximize the power of the feedback students receive and better tailor the work they do to their needs? In this session, we will explore that question, using a workshop model approach that allows you, the participants, to make choices about where to focus your own practice while receiving in-time feedback. From 2016 summer institute

Presentation Slides

School in the Spotlight | Champlain Valley Union High School


Adam Bunting | Principal | Champlain Valley Union High School
Gabrielle Booth | Student | Champlain Valley Union High School
Eva Rocheleau | Student | Champlain Valley Union High School

Many people acknowledge that one of the greatest challenges in effecting school improvement and change is sustaining the energy and commitment required to redesign learning. At CVU, we call this the “implementation dip” – a critical point where schools either launch forward or resort back to the practices they know and are familiar with. In this School in the Spotlight session, we will describe the strategies we used to get over our implementation dip, where we are now, and where we’re going. 


Transcripts, Profiles, + Student Recognition

As schools transition to proficiency-based diplomas, it is important to be fully prepared with the reporting of student progress through an clear transcript and informative school profile.  In addition, a close examination of current practices for student recognition is a critical step in ensuring alignment with the school’s goals.  In this session, we will look at transcripts, profiles, and recognition protocols that align with proficiency-based learning.

Presentation Slides


Proficiency as a Pathway to Equity

Proficiency-based learning is predicated on the belief that all students can learn if we clarify learning goals and success, personalize assessment and instruction and expect that students will learn in different ways and at different times. This session will focus on the rationale for and the critical elements of a proficiency-based learning system as a means to achieve equity for all students. The experience will be most beneficial to those just starting to define and design proficiency-, mastery-, or competency-based learning systems.

Presentation Slides

Miscellaneous Information

Four Points Hospital Halloween Costume Drive

Four Points 10th Annual Boston Children’s Hospital Halloween Costume Drive

The Four Points is helping the children at Boston Children’s Hospital by taking costume or accessory donations (infant-teen sizes) by October 24th. Feel free to bring something to donate on the day of the LIS Networking Meeting. Their drop-off box is located in the hotel lobby. 
No scary or violent items please!

Overnight Accommodations

Overnight rooms at the Four Points are limited for the night of 10/20/16, and there are no group rates available. However, there may still be rooms available at the nearby Courtyard Marriott Boston/Norwood/Canton. To make reservations, call the hotel directly at 1-800-321-2211.

Unfortunately, all room blocks have expired at this time.