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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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7Cs Teaching Resources  |  Education Elements  |  School Districts  |  School Leadership  |  Surveys  |  Teachers

The Impact of Student Voices on Instructional Leadership: A Case Study

At Education Elements, Personalized Learning reflects many of our core beliefs about how people and organizations grow. This is why we continuously improve our services in this area to support schools and districts in their efforts to personalize learning for students. We know that in and outside the classroom, learning is rarely one-size-fits-all. Every individual can thrive if their unique needs are met. Often the first step to supporting student growth and development is getting to know your people and understanding their needs.

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Education Elements  |  Organizational Leadership & Change Management  |  Teacher Retention  |  Teachers

Six Ways Instructional Leaders Can Support Curriculum Implementation

As an Instructional Leader, I remember sitting at my desk before the start of each semester, turning my wheels about how to make each day longer so I could prioritize the competing needs of my dozens of teachers and maybe have time for lunch. I supported five new teachers, all in different content areas with different curricula (or none) which added to this stress. I began to shift my mindset to discover that natural breaks in the year—such as new quarters/semesters or the beginning and end of the school year—hold significance. These times created an opportunity for a mini-reset to reimagine and prioritize our work. Here are six tips for leaders looking to adopt a new curriculum:

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District Leadership  |  School Districts  |  School Leadership  |  Teachers

Rising Student Absenteeism: We Need to Change the Way We Do Things

Schools across the country are grappling with fewer students in classrooms, causing a ripple effect on learning, funding, and engagement. Research shows that the number of chronically absent students has nearly doubled, from about 15 percent in the 2018-2019 school year to around 30 percent in 2021-2022. Millions of students miss 10% of the school year or more—whether excused or unexcused—and substantial increases in chronic absenteeism were prevalent across every state that captures this data. The research results imply that an additional 6.5 million students became chronically absent in the ‘21-’22 school year, on top of the millions of students who were chronically absent before the pandemic. Because of the correlation between attendance and learning, this uptick in absenteeism has grave consequences for student growth. In states like Texas, where school funding is tied to attendance, it also creates financial constraints.

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District Leadership  |  School Leadership  |  Teachers

Racing to Implement the Science of Reading: Setting a Pace for Achieving Success

During speeches in January, several state leaders kicked off the year with strong commitments of money and resources to improve literacy in their schools through the immediate implementation of evidence-based reading instruction, often referred to as the “science of reading.” The governors of New York and Massachusetts offered guidelines, not mandates, for school districts to focus on adopting reading instruction practices and materials that are evidence-based. The Maryland State Board of Education approved a resolution declaring that all public schools must be aligned to the Science of Reading effective School Year 2024-25. With this resolution, Maryland joins over 35 other states and the District of Columbia that have committed to full alignment with the science of reading over the past ten years. These states’ goals are overarchingly the same, but their plans, timelines, and benchmarks differ. What do they need to consider and include to be successful in improving student reading outcomes?

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