Personalized Learning

  • In support of our mission and vision, District Y115 will embrace:

     

    Personalized Learning (PL) is a learning model that places the student in the center of the learning process. 

     

    Personalized Learning (PL)

    • Provides students with a voice and choice in their education.

    • Focuses on the learning needs, aspirations, interests and/or cultural backgrounds of individual or groups of students. 

    • Offers students opportunities for different learning pathways based on their individual needs and interests.

    • Concentrates on pedagogical improvement and skill development.

    • Supports students through a range of practices, including flexible scheduling, personalized learning plans, extended learning opportunities, learning studios, and inquiry-based learning.

    In order to support the goal areas of District 115 Strategic Plan, Personalized Learning will encompass four focus areas: 

    • Physical Learning Environment:  The physical learning environment refers to the diverse physical locations, contexts, and cultures in which students learn. 

      • Learning Environment:

        • Supports student learning by creating and promoting a physically, emotionally, socially, and an academically secure climate for students, staff, and visitors. 

        • Changing the physical space to allow for a student centered, innovative environment that encourages learning programs supporting teachers to practice new approaches to teaching and learning.

        • The physical setting of the classroom with regard to all resources, seating, etc. that promotes student ownership, and dictates interaction between all learners including the teacher.

        • A change to the school environment based on the needs of individual or groups of students. 

        • Flexibility with spaces used for teaching and learning and that is driven by the personalization of student learning, increased student engagement, and improved student achievement.

          • Identified Targets for Action:

            • Review of flexible start/end times (zero hour course, evening course options) for both staff and students.

            • Implement a safe environment for evening and/or online/blended courses.

            • Investigate opportunities for Middle School Open Spaces to support student centered learning. 

            • Create flexible learning opportunities within the middle school media center.

            • Establish expectations and staff training/discussion to increase student access to the newly designed learning stairs, computer bars, fishbowls, collaborative spaces, and media centers.

            • Increase student access to technology through the implementation of a 1:1 Initiative

            • Establish a learning management platform to support the implementation of summer and fall courses utilizing a blended format. 

               

    • Culture of Learning:  Student and professional learning is a core value and the heart of the organization working to personalize and meet students where they are and what they aspire to achieve.  Focus on results to ensure continuous performance improvement (related to both staff and students).

      • Student Ownership:
        • Provide students opportunities to demonstrate attainment of essential and core learning competencies.
        • Assist students to become self-directed and accountable for their own learning and personal development.

        • Give students the opportunity to exercise their voice in all aspects of decision-making regarding their learning and their school.

      • Rigor:

        • Afford all students access to rigorous levels of learning through targeted, individualized, and relevant experiences.

        • Provide student opportunities to develop rigorous projects and assessment rubrics.

      • Flexible Learning:
        • Appreciate time as a flexible resource to provide enrichment and support of learning opportunities outside of the typical classroom.
    • Measure student growth and progress by mastery of core competencies rather than by seat time or grade equivalencies. 

    • Vary student/teacher arrival and departure times based on course offerings, student pathways and needs, and extended learning opportunities.

    • Student Growth and Achievement:

      • Establish and maintain high standards.

      • Provide students with multiple learning opportunities to attain high levels of achievement.

      • Create engaging opportunities for students to flexibly demonstrate learning and mastery of curriculum at individualized rates.
         

    • Personal Accountability:

      • Practice active communication to improve accountability with all members of the school community. 

      • Accept responsibility for actions while acknowledging successes as well as shortcomings.

      • Demonstrate high levels of personal reflection with regard to student and teacher performance.

      • Recognize continued professional/teacher effectiveness through performance-based compensation for higher levels of student growth. 

        • Identified Targets for Action:

          • Create flexible course opportunities for HS students to promote personalized and e-learning environments (evening course options, online/blended). 

          • Propose Online/Blended courses with flexible building schedules to support this framework for learning (ie. Opening of building in the evening, flexible use of libraries, etc.)

          • Training and implementation of district-wide online local assessments to match 1:1 calendar.   

    • Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment & Accountability:  Research, develop and implement curriculum that increases student achievement, focuses on how students learn, and emphasizes best practice related to instructional approaches and the learning process (student-centered, interest-based, etc.).   Reflect, review and report on data analysis to drive curriculum and instructional practices.

       

    • 21st Century Skills and Habits of Mind:

    • Enhancing each learner’s acquisition of knowledge and skills through learning that occurs anytime and anywhere.

    • Expecting learners to demonstrate mastery of knowledge and skills through authentic assessment.

    • Provide opportunities for students to think critically and creatively as they develop skills related to problem solving, persistence, communication and collaboration.

    • Post-Secondary Readiness:

    • Provide access to resources, support, and services to help students aspire to meet post-secondary goals.

    • Develop realistic and ambitious plans for college and/or careers.

    • Build confidence in student skills and abilities for students to persist successfully in all post-secondary pursuits.

    • Demonstrate mastery of the district’s core curriculum by the end of a student’s high school career.

      • Identified Targets for Action:

        • Initiate an Extended Learning Opportunity (ELO) through means of a pilot at the high school level, including:

          • Research possible credit opportunities for this type of learning.

          • Develop partnership with at least two businesses

          • Create a plan for an ELO pilot

          • Involve the guidance department in training and understanding of the ELO model.

          • Establish community mentors through local businesses for future ELO’s.

          • Validation of pilot plan and paperwork.

        • Implement Learning Studios at the elementary level.

        • Infuse a summer bridge program to support higher levels of competency acquisition and enrichment (i.e. World Language/Math).

        • Create and implement a comprehensive grading plan to support student centeredness and competency-based education. 

        • Research standards based reporting philosophy for grades 4-6, 7-8, 9-12.

        • Comprehensive College and Career Program:

          • Personalized pathways for students

          • Community partnerships/Business leader mentors

          • Dual Credit/Enrollment with local colleges/universities

          • Extended Learning Opportunities (ELO’s)

        • Develop opportunities for middle school students to earn high school credit.

        • Create alternative uses of existing learning spaces in order to support online and blended modes of learning, and to support  Saturday, evening and summer professional development learning sessions

        • Provide professional development and support for the 1:1 pilot. 

    • Governance, Administration & Community:  Analyze laws, regulations and Board policy to determine overall flexibility to support programs and students.  Review and make changes to procedural guidelines based on laws, regulations, and policies while also considering best practices that support students.  Engage the community in a process of collaboration, partnership and shared accountability.

      • Community Engagement:
        • Keep the community well informed about the work of the school district through Board of Education meetings, newsletters, social media and community forums and committee work.
        • Allow for opportunities for community members to be heard and valued.
        • Develop and maintain community partnerships with business leaders to facilitate and support student internships, mentoring and career opportunities.
          • Identified Targets for Action:
            • Develop remediation and enrichment plans to support students who do not meet core competencies, and for those students who master competencies well ahead of their grade-level peers. 

            • Research laws, policies, and/or regulations that may impact the introduction of the online/blended classroom.

            • Identify, modify and create policies and procedures that impact and support both a 1:1 initiative and an online/blended instructional model.

            • Ensure the adherence to state and local guidelines for middle school students earning high school credit.

            • Follow state and local guidelines (BOE policy, teacher contract, etc.) to support implementation of Extended Learning Opportunities