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Personalized Learning Blog

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K-12 Education Resources

The latest on all student-centered models, leadership development, strategic planning, teacher retention, and all things innovation in K-12 education. We answer questions before you think to ask them.

Dexter Korto and Jill Thompson

Dexter Korto is a Design Principal on the Design and Implementation Team. He began his career in education as a volunteer and mentor in southwest Ohio, which led to him becoming a founding AmeriCorps member of City Year Denver. While in northeast Denver, he became fascinated with education reform policies and their intended and actual impact. After his year of service, Dexter participated in Colorado state senator Mike Johnston’s education policy fellowship. This opportunity allowed Dexter to deeply examine federal, state, and local policies that attempted to address school funding for turnaround and phase out efforts, recovery school districts, and other reform & innovation initiatives nationwide. In his last role before joining EE, Dexter served as a founding member of North Star College Preparatory Academy for Boys. He developed culturally relevant curriculum rooted in curricular experiences, a restorative discipline plan, cultural systems that are affirming and realistic. Jill Thompson is an Associate Partner on the Design and Implementation Team where she works closely with schools and district leaders to help them make the shift towards more personalized learning. Prior to working with Education Elements, she was the Director of Personalized Digital Learning at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS). She was responsible for leading the CMS transformation in a highly complex, large urban environment. She developed a personalized data driven model to provide professional learning, and created micro-credentialing learning paths. Jill is a former classroom teacher, who has won multiple awards for being an outstanding educator. She is an authorized Google Education Trainer and Apple Teacher. She grew up in Syracuse NY and currently lives in the Charlotte area. In her free time, Jill enjoys reading, working out and spending time with friends and family.

Blog Feature

School Districts  |  School Leadership

3 Pillars to Build On When Opening a New School

Planning and opening a new school is an exciting yet daunting task. As a leader of a brand new school, you are involved in every aspect of what the school day will look and feel like, and how it will be remembered. When you begin to design experiences that equip students with the skills to fulfill your school’s mission and vision, consider what your strategic priorities should be to get your goals accomplished. Think about yourself as a 6th grader on the first day of school: what carefully planned academic and non-academic experiences would you need to best prepare you for the rest of middle school? What instructional skills would your teachers need to engage you and your peers in rigorous work throughout the day? What type of environment would allow you to grow and reflect on your progress in a meaningful way?

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