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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.

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District Leadership  |  School Districts  |  School Leadership  |  Teachers  |  Teams & Culture

Why Teachers Stay: Building Inspiring, Responsive Leaders to Improve the Learning Experience for All

In one of our recent blogs, we noted that some teachers list “weak or uninspiring leadership” as a reason they are leaving their positions. Those who feel strongly that they are not supported by their school administration are at high risk of calling it quits. If we are relying on school leaders and building administrators to reverse this trend, we need to make sure we are equipping them with the skills they need to recognize, develop, motivate, and support teacher growth and development. For many district leaders, summer offers a perfect window to focus on aspects of their own growth and development.

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District Leadership  |  Personalized Learning  |  School Districts  |  School Leadership  |  Teachers  |  Teams & Culture

Opening Doors: Collaboration Brings Personalized Learning to Life

Implementing personalized learning across an entire school district is an ambitious undertaking. It requires a dedicated investment of time and resources, but the potential benefits for student learning are undeniable. One of the biggest challenges is prioritizing thoughtful professional development for educators amid many competing priorities in districts. Our team faced this challenge while partnering with the Manchester Shortsville Central School District in New York. Manchester is a rural district located near Rochester, serving approximately 700 students across PK-12th grade. We had been working with a dedicated group of teachers for over a year, and their team was eager to expand the program to a wider range of educators. In closing feedback, one teacher wrote, “I found the time we had to bounce ideas off each other to be beneficial. Learning about what my colleagues are doing in the classrooms was eye opening. I am always looking to learn from them.” As a result, the Red Jacket team engaged our Education Elements (EE) team to work with the whole middle and high school teams. Unfortunately, finding dates that worked for everyone proved difficult.

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Blog Feature

District Leadership  |  School Districts  |  School Leadership

Leading Change in Education: How Responsive Leadership and Teamwork Transform Schools

In a time where there is a heightened focus on education, it is essential that leadership development not be forgotten. Educational leaders serve as the guiding force behind school communities, shaping the vision, culture, and direction of the schools they serve. Providing educational leaders with resources and support empowers them to inspire positive change, implement effective teaching practices, and cultivate a culture of continuous improvement. Effective leadership drives collaboration among educators, fosters a supportive learning environment for students, and promotes equity and inclusivity, strengthening the educational system and quality of learning. Ultimately, by prioritizing the development of educational leaders, we ensure that schools are equipped with the visionary leadership needed to navigate complex challenges, adapt to evolving needs, and empower all learners to reach their full potential.

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District Leadership  |  Education Elements  |  Personalized Learning  |  School Districts  |  School Leadership

Strong Planning, Coaching, and Implementing with Fidelity– A Blended Learning Success Story

As soon as you enter Vogel Elementary School, you are greeted with large smiles. It is no secret that students are excited to show up to school every day and teachers are ready to embrace their kiddos as soon as the bell rings. The reason? Students are at the heart of all choices made at Vogel– a blended learning campus in Seguin Independent School District. In the 2021-2022 school year, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) identified Vogel Elementary as a campus that qualified for a school action. Historically, Vogel Elementary has received D accountability ratings from the state, although they earned a C rating based on 2022 Accountability results. These results made them eligible for the School Action Fund (SAF) Cycle 6 grants. As part of the school action plan, the school selected a blended learning redesign model. This model was the best fit with existing campus and district initiatives, including the implementation of high-quality instructional materials (HQIM) in Math and ELAR classes. At Education Elements, we partnered with Seguin ISD on this work, collaborating on three key steps which led to an increase in student-driven outcome data.

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District Leadership  |  Education Elements  |  Personalized Learning  |  School Districts  |  School Leadership

Unlocking Literacy for All: How Clear Creek ISD Planned and Executed Instructional Change

Nation-wide, building literacy in our children is a persistent challenge. So much of a challenge that according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, more than 60 percent of American fourth graders are not proficient readers. Other research has shown that 95% of students are cognitively capable of reading proficiently, which indicates that lacking literacy isn’t the result of students’ capabilities; it’s the consequence of instruction failing to access and amplify students’ potential as readers and writers. The implications of this are serious. It’s often said that reading opens doors. For students who can’t read proficiently, many of those doors remain closed and the paths behind them go unexplored, so further opportunities to learn, grow, and achieve are rendered inaccessible.

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District Leadership  |  School Districts  |  Teacher Retention  |  Teams & Culture  |  school climate

Retaining Teachers Requires a Belonging Strategy

Post-pandemic data shows that teachers are leaving the profession in higher numbers than they were before the pandemic and for reasons other than retirement or inadequate performance. These high turnover rates have many impacts on the school community, not the least of which is a detrimental effect on student growth and achievement. Why are teachers quitting, and what can be done to stop this troubling trend? Aside from compensation, teachers say they are leaving their positions due to frustration and even exhaustion from managing unreasonable expectations while feeling overworked and undervalued. Some cite weak or uninspiring leadership as a factor while others point to political pressures interfering with how they do their jobs and serve their students. This level of dissatisfaction is contributing to the unhealthy state of the teaching profession overall.

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