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Antonia Stone, Corcoran Unified School District (CA)

A Personalized Learning Superhero

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A Personalized Learning SuperheroeName: Antonia Stone

Role: Principal of Corcoran High School

District: Corcoran Unified School District (CA); 3,300 students

Years in education: 14

Years district has worked with Education Elements: 2

About Antonia: Under Antonia’s leadership, the high school has led the way in personalized learning. Antonia and her team started a requirement that each student pass a math competency test and an English competency test if students did not meet the standards on the state test. The competency exams were equivalent to the state assessment and were required to walk at graduation. This year, 100% of the senior class passed the assessments, despite only 14% passing when they took the state assessment during their junior year. After seeing this success at the high school, other Corcoran schools were ready for personalized learning. District leaders praise Antonia for her ability to build school culture and model personalized learning with her staff.

What impact have you seen personalized learning make? “Engagement for sure. We’re seeing a lot more hands-on activities and a lot of kids getting up and moving around. The growth in our collaboration has gone through the roof, not only for students but also for teachers. Teachers are walking into each other’s classrooms and seeing what good, targeted instruction looks like. And in some cases, a light bulb has gone off for teachers around better uses of formative assessment.”

How did you share with your staff your belief in personalized learning? “A few years ago, at the beginning of the year, we wrote every kid’s name on the wall and brought all 47 teachers into the room. We had them take students’ names off the wall if they felt they had a personal relationship with that student. It was a huge eye-opener for teachers. We got 90% of kids, and we were proud of that; 90% is a high mark. But I said, ‘Do you think there a correlation that we have a 90% graduation rate and we only know something personal about 90% of kids?’ So, every single teacher made it a goal to take at least two kids and learn something personal and get their name crossed off. Now, all of the names are off the wall and our graduation rate has gone up.

Follow Antonia on Twitter: @AStoneAntonia

“Antonia’s superpower is that she’s fearless. She is conscientious and fearless; she has that combination.” –Rich Merlo, Corcoran Superintendent


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