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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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Innovative Leadership  |  School Districts  |  Strategic Planning

Community Engagement and Change: 4 Steps to Effective Engagement During Strategic Planning

At Education Elements, we pride ourselves on being a responsive organization. Like many organizations, we can fall short of true responsiveness, but we are proud of how nimble, engaged, and positive our team is as a result of responsive practices. Our true north lies in seeking feedback to best understand the experiences of our community members. Feedback, in every way it is offered, allows us to make improvements suggested by those who have a stake in the work. Obvious, right? This may be an easy concept to grasp, but the gathering and processing of feedback from all relevant community members can be a complicated, time-consuming, and confusing process – and that’s in a small company with a team aligned around the idea. For schools and districts looking to implement change, whether it be by the introduction of new or additional technology, shifting pedagogical approaches, curriculum adoption, team reorganizations, or strategic planning, community engagement can be a paralyzingly large task.

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Equity  |  Innovative Leadership  |  Strategic Planning

5 Tips for Building a Profile of a Graduate

Graduate profiles are becoming increasingly popular in districts and can function in a multitude of ways. From formulating the basis for an instructional vision to getting started with performance based grading, graduate profiles clearly articulate outcomes for learners and provide critical guidance for staff and leaders. What is a Profile of a Graduate? A graduate profile may also be referred to as Portrait of a Graduate, Profile of a Graduate, Journey of a Graduate, or Journey of a Learner. The precise term is not as important as the way in which it was created, and how it functions within your district or school community. At Education Elements we believe in the importance of building and creating a profile collaboratively; that the process of creation is, in fact, just as important as the end product. We also believe that when designing a graduate profile, it is important to do so with a student-centered approach. Read the following five tips for planning that will lead to an impactful and relevant graduate profile that your community is excited about.

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District Leadership  |  School Leadership  |  Strategic Planning

How a $5 lesson can help districts avoid a multi-million freefall when ESSER funding expires

In 2009, Professor Tina Seelig looked over her class of Stanford business students and assigned a simple challenge. Working in groups, the students were given $5 and 2 hours to make the highest possible return on their money. They had a week to plan their strategy with almost unlimited creativity. At the end of the challenge, each group gave a 3 minute presentation to share their process and results with their peers. Most people faced with a similar challenge would follow one of two logical routes to secure a return on investment (ROI): Focus on the money and try to “flip” it - buy an item for $5 and sell it for $10 Focus on the time allotment of 2 hours and try to “side hustle” - engage in “gig economy” jobs to make additional income

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Blog Feature

District Leadership  |  School Districts  |  Strategic Planning

Aligning Your District’s Initiatives: How to Achieve Coherence & Impact

Our schools operate at a rapid pace as they are dynamic environments with a number of moving parts. As leaders, we are continually attending to matters of teaching and learning, making sure our curricula are rigorous and standards-based, checking in on culture and learning outcomes using data to measure results…and much more. Undeniably, there is a long list of priorities. To execute these work streams well and to best serve our students, we must engage in responsive strategic planning. Too often, districts create multiple plans that don’t guide or prioritize the needs well, creating chaos, resulting in a lack of a true roadmap. Many districts benefit from developing a comprehensive 3-5 year strategic plan. By establishing a robust planning process, you can deepen your understanding of stakeholder needs, build coherence across district initiatives, prioritize efforts to maximize value for students, and define success metrics. It is important for other school-based or district-wide plans to fit well with the overall comprehensive and responsive strategic district plan.

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District Leadership  |  School Leadership  |  Strategic Planning

Leading the Way: Insights on Successful K-12 Implementation

One of the most important roles of a leader is the development and implementation of a plan. How good a job one does at that vital step can make all the difference in the plan’s success or failure. Effective leaders know how to create opportunities for change, opportunities for collaboration, and how to measure progress to fuel success. During the edLeader Panel “The Art of Implementing Well,” Anthony Kim, Chief Learning Officer at Education Elements, a Scholarus Learning Company, talked with superintendents, Dr. Rick Robins and Amy Creeden, about how they used the Art of Implementing Well to fuel success in their districts and successfully implement strategic plans.

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Blog Feature

District Leadership  |  Strategic Planning

Implementing A Strategic Plan Well To Define Your District’s Legacy

In the ever-evolving landscape of education, implementing initiatives can make all the difference between thriving and merely surviving. The art of implementing initiatives well is a skill that requires a combination of strategy, systems, and responsive leadership. Whether you're a district leader, a campus administrator, or a classroom teacher, mastering this art is essential for achieving your goals and driving positive change within your learning community. In this blog post, Amy Creeden, Superintendent of Schools for the Enlarged City School District of Middletown, about 65 miles northwest of New York City in Middletown, New York, shares three lessons her district learned through the first year of implementing their five-year strategic plan.

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