★ Complete Program (.PDF)

★ At A Glace: Infographic (.PDF)

Conference Program

High School Redesign in Action is an opportunity to share success stories, exchange innovative solutions, connect with colleagues, and build momentum for secondary school innovation. Participants will be able to choose from eighteen presentations featuring a range of high-impact strategies that have successfully raised student aspirations, achievement and outcomes in secondary schools across New England.

The presenting schools were selected not only for their exemplary work, but also for their extraordinary commitment to a goal we all believe in: making sure every student has a chance to succeed, to live a fulfilled and meaningful life, and to make a positive contribution to the world in which they live.

We hope to see you there!

Pre-Conference Sessions

RESPONSE TO INSTRUCTION + INTERVENTION: WHAT IT IS AND HOW WE DO IT

Description

SORRY! THIS SESSION IS NOW CLOSED   

Secondary schools are becoming more intentional about building a culture of instructional supports and academic interventions that serve all students who need them. The aim of this session is to develop some shared understandings about the Response to Instruction and Intervention (RtII) framework as it applies to high schools.  We will explore three tiers of supports and interventions - beginning with the role and tasks of “teacher as first responder”, then examine the key features of effective, equitable, and systemic Tier 2 and Tier 3 school-wide interventions beyond the classroom.

Along the way, participants will have opportunities to:

  1. assess the current status of their RtII initiatives;
  2. consider the connections between quality interventions, the use of data, the establishment of an RtII team, and the development of a coherent case management system
  3. think about intervention practices that they want to stop, start, deepen, or change; and
  4. discuss "how-to's" for developing, implementing, and sustaining effective intervention practices.
Session Thursday, March 20 | 8:30 am
Presenters Carol Miller Lieber (senior consultant, Educators for Social Responsibility)
Contact Carol Miller Lieber | carolmlieber@esrnational.org

Pre-Conference Sessions

PROFICIENCY-BASED LEARNING SIMPLIFIED

Description

SORRY! THIS SESSION IS NOW CLOSED   

In this workshop, participants will learn about the fundamental components of an effective proficiency-based teaching and learning system, learn about an array of resources that can support their work, and begin to develop a plan that addresses policies, practices, and community-engagement activities that will lead to the successful implementation of proficiency-based learning.

Session Thursday, March 20 | 8:30 am
Presenters Mary Hastings (senior associate, Great Schools Partnership), Ken Templeton (senior associate, Great Schools Partnership), Angela Hardy (senior associate, Great Schools Partnership), Jean Haeger (senior associate, Great Schools Partnership)
Material http://www.greatschoolspartnership.org/nessc_pbls
Contact Ken Templeton | ktempleton@greatschoolspartnership.org

Pre-Conference Sessions

HOW TO TALK ABOUT SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Description

SORRY! THIS SESSION IS NOW CLOSED   

In this presentation, participants will learn a variety of effective communication strategies that will work in any school or situation, including the construction of a compelling narrative, the power of specific examples, and the use of language that speaks to the core values of parents and community members. Specific examples and case studies will be used to illustrate the power of effective communications, including one Maine high school’s journey from low-performing rural school to a national model of personalized learning. Participants will also receive a brief introduction to the Glossary of Education Reform, a new online resource created by the Great Schools Partnership, and discuss how the glossary can help participants improve understanding of complex school-improvement concepts in their communities.

Session Thursday, March 20 | 10:00 am
School(s) Great Schools Partnership
Presenters Stephen Abbott (director of communications, Great Schools Partnership), Pam Fisher (senior advisor, Great Schools Partnership)
Website www.greatschoolspartnership.org
Contact Stephen Abbott | sabbott@greatschoolspartnership.org

Pre-Conference Sessions

LEAGUE OF INNOVATIVE SCHOOLS STATE NETWORKING MEETINGS

Description

Space is limited, pre-registration for this session is required 

These state-specific meetings are for current League members only, and will focus on regional and statewide activities, updates on grants and initiatives, and the sharing of new League tools and resources. NOTE: This is a required meeting for at least one representative from each League school. 

Session Thursday, March 20 | 8:30 am
Presenters Janet Garagliano (CT), Mark Kostin (ME), Don Siviski (ME), Skip Hanson (NH), Rob Tenney (NH), Marcia Cross(RI), Cali Cornell (RI), Sharon Lee (RI), Meg Powden (VT)
Website lis.newenglandssc.org
Contact Mark Kostin | mkostin@greatschoolspartnership.org

Plenary Sessions

RE-AFFIRMING OUR COMMITMENT TO PERSONALIZED LEARNING AND VOICES FROM OUR SCHOOLS

Description

Conference welcome, overview of the NESSC, and stories from schools across the League of Innovative Schools.

Session Thursday, March 20 | 1:00 pm
Presenters Dianna Roberge-Wentzell (chief academic officer, Connecticut State Department of Education), Sharon Lee (director, office of multiple pathways, Rhode Island Department of Education), Mark Kostin (associate director, Great Schools Partnership)
Presentation 2014_Conference_Thursday_PM.key.pdf
Contact Mark Kostin | mkostin@greatschoolspartnership.org

Plenary Sessions

WHAT I NEED: STUDENT VOICE IN THE LEARNING PROCESS

Description

Hear directly from students about what personalization means to them. Students will share their thoughts on what they need to be successful in and out of the classroom. Students from across the NESSC will share their experiences and respond to questions from conference participants.

Session Friday, March 21 | 8:15 am
Presenters Mark Kostin (associate director, Great Schools Partnership), Jon Ingram (senior associate, Great Schools Partnership)
Presentation 2014_NESSC_Conference_Student_Panel_Friday_Morning.pdf
Contact Mark Kostin | mkostin@greatschoolspartnership.org

Plenary Sessions

CELEBRATING THE NESSC: ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND RECOGNITIONS

Description

Join us as we briefly highlight some of the most significant accomplishments of the year and formally recognize a number of individuals who’s tireless efforts are instrumental to the success of collective work.

Session Friday, March 21 | 12:30 pm
Presenters David Ruff (executive director, Great Schools Partnership)
Presentation 2014_NESSC_Conference_State_Champions_friday_lunch.pdf
Contact David Ruff | druff@greatschoolspartnership.org

CT

A Mastery-Based Lesson on Mastery-Based Learning

Description

In this session, presenters will describe how High School in the Community has advanced mastery-based learning to help all students take more responsibility over their own education, while they also address skill deficits, acquire college- and career-ready skills, and excel in their areas of interest. To make the session more resonant and authentic for participants, it will be structured as a mastery-based lesson! So whether you have never heard of mastery-based learning, or whether you already changing practices in your school or classroom, our mastery-based approach will both broaden and deepen your understanding.

Session Friday, March 21 | 9:15 am + 10:45 am
School(s) High School in the Community, New Haven, CT
Presenters Erik Good (building leader), Gail Emilsson (teacher), Adeline Marzialo (teacher), Julie Vargas (student)
Website www.highschoolinthecommunity.org/
Material https://greatschools.egnyte.com/publicController.do?folderName=20140403&fileName=ki1szK2q07
Contact Gail Emilsson | gail.emillson@new-haven.k12.ct.us

CT

How Personalized Learning Changed Our Practice and Our Students

Description

What does personalized learning look like? At the start of Naugatuck High School’s journey, personalization meant meeting everyone’s needs. It meant shifting our instructional philosophy to embrace learning as the constant and time as the variable. It also challenged what we knew about instruction, causing us to reexamine our practices. Our faculty sought out more creative ways to manage our classrooms to support students whose educational journeys might take more time—or less time—than others. Personalization not only transformed learning for our students, it also transformed us as teachers, mentors, and leaders. In this session, participants will learn about our new instructional practices, how we have evolved as educators, and what the implications are for student learning. The presenters will share their vision for a personalized classroom and how they were able to achieve it. They will also share curriculum and assessment tools that helped shape instructional practice, as well as student video interviews, written survey data, and student work that reveals how students have responded to the changes. 

Session Thursday, March 20 | 2:15 pm + 3:45 pm
School(s) Naugatuck High School, Naugatuck, CT
Presenters Caroline Messenger (teacher), Marc Pardee (teacher),
Website www.naugatuckhigh.naugatuck.k12.ct.us/
Contact Jan Saam | saamj@naugy.net

CT

Foundational Transformation: A Springboard to Competency-Based Learning

Description

Beginning in 2011, Windsor Locks High School, along with other schools in its underperforming Connecticut school district, began a journey of transformation driven by the characteristics of high-performing schools identified by research. The presenters will share their past, present, and future plans, which will help other school districts rethink their culture, belief systems, and approaches to teaching and learning. The presenters will also discuss how, in just three years, the district’s systemic, strategic changes have resulted in a new and rigorous curriculum, a shared educational vision, improved student achievement, and greater faculty satisfaction. Most importantly, participants will learn how these three foundational years are serving as a springboard for the process currently underway to both design and implement a competency-based educational system.

Session Friday, March 21 | 9:15 am + 1:15 pm
School(s) Windsor Locks High School, Windsor Locks, CT
Presenters Susan A. Bell (assistant superintendent), Sharon M. Cournoyer (principal), Wayne C. Sweeney (superintendent of schools),
Website www.wlps.org
Material https://greatschools.egnyte.com/h-s/20140319/sIrucTqU7B
Contact Susan Bell | sbell@wlps.org

ME

Focused Learning: Ellsworth High School’s Response to Intervention

Description

In this interactive presentation, faculty from Ellsworth High School will describe the development, design, and implementation of its teacher-developed Response to Intervention program called Focused Learning—an integrated, dynamic, technology-assisted program that addresses the learning needs of every student through a combination of intervention, extension, and enrichment opportunities. Each day during second period, 500 students move to their interventions, extensions, enrichments, or study halls based on their distinct learning needs. The school’s flexible scheduling model is managed through a teacher-designed app that lets the staff "tag" students in a targeted and timely manner, using a prioritized content-area schedule that allows for an even distribution of students across each content area throughout the week. While this initiative is still in its early stages, the Ellsworth High School teaching faculty are excited to share the development process, management of the program, qualitative and quantitative data, and the personal experiences of teachers and students. A Q&A will follow.

Session Friday, March 21 | 10:45 am + 1:15 pm
School(s) Ellsworth High School, Ellsworth, Maine
Presenters Jonathan Bender (teacher), Jessie Falabella (teacher), Tracey Hollingsworth (teacher), Lydia Kinney (teacher)
Website www.ehsfocusedlearning.blogspot.com
Material https://greatschools.egnyte.com/publicController.do?folderName=20140319&fileName=PadKwv0zRk
Contact Focused Learning Team | ehsfocusedlearning@rsu24.org

ME

Agents of Their Own Learning: A District’s Proficiency-Based System Enters Maturity

Description

Regional School Unit 2 has been implementing K–12 proficiency-based learning for several years now. Join the presenters as they describe how their model has given students significant amounts of voice and choice in their learning. In the district’s three high schools, students have authentic opportunities to design their own learning pathways, learn at their own pace, and engage in learning experiences that not only match their interests, but that build upon the resources and opportunities that exist in the wider community. In this session, participants will learn about the structure, schedule, and other design elements that have empowered the district to dramatically increase personalization for students without watering down standards.

Session Thursday, March 20 | 2:15 pm + 3:45 pm
School(s) Regional School Unit 2, Hallowell, ME
Presenters Rick Amero (principal, Monmouth Academy), John Armentrout (director, information technology), Christine Arsenault (teacher, Monmouth Academy), Brenda Dalbeck (teacher, Hall-Dale High School), Virgel Hammonds (superintendent), Libby Ladner (teacher, Hall-Dale Middle School), Steve Lavoie (principal, Richmond High School), Eric Palleschi (teacher, Monmouth Middle School), Megan Rounds (teacher, Richmond High School), Matt Shea (coordinator of student achievement), Mark Tinkham (principal, Hall-Dale High/Middle School), Charlie Urquhart (teacher, Richmond High School)
Website http://www.kidsrsu.org/
Material https://app.box.com/NESSC14-RSU2
Contact Virgel Hammonds | vhammonds@kidsrsu.org

ME

Easy Come, Easy Go: Maintaining and Sustaining Standards-Based Practices

Description

Each year, the Troy Howard Middle School staff holds a four-day workshop series called “Standards-Based Education in Action” as a way to ensure the continuation of practices that have improved student achievement in our school. Teachers new to Troy Howard join visiting teachers from other schools to learn about “how we do business” from veteran faculty and students. Each session involves direct instruction from multiple teachers and students, as well as classroom observations and demonstrations of teaching principles in action. Participants will learn about this unique professional-development program and walk away with a breakdown of the learning targets for each of the four days.

Session Thursday, March 20 | 3:45 pm + Friday, March 21 | 10:45 am
School(s) Troy Howard Middle School, Belfast, ME
Presenters Bruce Bailey (assistant principal), Kim Buckheit (principal), Sandy Flacke (special education coordinator), Chris LaValle (social-studies teacher)
Website thms.rsu20.org
Material https://greatschools.egnyte.com/h-s/20140319/8Ma7JPmHim
Contact Kim Buckheit | kbuckheit@rsu20.org

ME

Making Learning Constant: An Integrated Approach to CCSS-Driven Mathematics

Description

Westbrook High school began its journey to become a proficiency-based high school starting in the math department, and department chair Jeff Guerette and sophomore math-team teacher Will Leque are working at the forefront of proficiency-based math instruction. In this workshop, participants will learn how Westbrook High School developed an integrated, proficiency-based math program in which learning is constant and time is the variable. Classroom procedures and systems will be discussed along with the opportunities and challenges inherent in putting students at the center of learning.

Session Thursday, March 20 | 2:15 pm + Friday, March 21 | 9:15 am
School(s) Westbrook High School, Westbrook, ME
Presenters Rhonda Fortin (mathematics instructional coach, grades 5–12), Jeff Guerrette (mathematics department chair), Will Leque (mathematics teacher)
Website westbrookschools.org
Contact Jeff Guerette | guerettej@westbrookschools.org

NH

Student Leadership in Creating a Dynamic High School

Description

During the transitional years of high school, every student must learn to become a productive member of our diverse and magnificent society. For this reason, student leadership and voice are critical, and character needs to be developed alongside academic abilities. At Hillsboro-Deering High School, the faculty believes all students must understand how to act on behalf of their peers while accomplishing superordinate objectives. And the school’s student-leadership strategies can already claim significant progress and successes, including the student-led development of school policies, events, and goals. The ongoing goal of the school’s student-leadership program is to promote the acquisition of new liberties for students while continually fostering a positive relationship between out senior and junior administration.

Session Friday, March 21 | 9:15 am + 10:45 am
School(s) Hillsboro-Deering High School, Hillsboro, NH
Presenters Clarice Clark (faculty advisor), Jennifer Crawford (associate principal), Paul Mooney (student leader), Tristan Brooks (student leader), Joshua Gould (student leader), Jim O’Rourke (principal), Katie Ort (student leader), Shannon Thomas (student leader), Jeramy Thompson (faculty advisor), Brianna Welch (student leader)
Website hdhs.hdsd.org/pages/Hillsboro-Deering_High_School
Presentation Hillsboro-Deering_High_School.pdf
Contact Jim O’Rourke | jorourke@hdsd.k12.nh.us

NH

Uncovering, Discovering, and Recovering the Gifts and Talents of Every Learner

Description

Effective student-centered learning taps into students’ strengths, challenges, interests, and abilities as a way to engage their intellectual curiosity and promote greater ownership over the learning process. The Making Community Connections (MC2) Charter School uses learning profiles to uncover, discover, and recover all the gifts and talents each learner possesses. MC2 is a middle/high school with a unique competency-based instructional model that integrates cognitive science and educational research, while also giving learners multiple, self-paced pathways to mastery. Join MC2 staff and students for an interactive exploration of the school’s structures, tools, and stories.

Session Friday, March 21 | 10:45 am + 1:15 pm
School(s) MC2 Charter School, Manchester, NH
Presenters Rowan Brantley (student), Elizabeth Cardine (school coach), Kim Carter (executive director), Shaun Davis (student), Angela Hinkle (teacher), Brendan Hinkle (student), Indira Palmer (student)
Website www.mc2school.org
Presentation MC2_Presentation_for_NESSC_2014.pdf
Contact Kim Carter | kim.carter@mc2school.org

NH

Supporting a School-Wide Competency-Based Grading and Reporting System

Description

Over the past three years, Sanborn Regional High School has developed a school-wide competency-based grading and reporting model that has received local, state, and national attention. Based on some of the latest assessment research by Ken O’Connor, Rick Wormeli, Robert Marzano, Rick Stiggins, and Rose Colby, the model is aligned with the Common Core State Standards and the competency-based model promoted by the New England Secondary School Consortium. Participants in this multimedia session will learn about how we structured our system, how we implemented it in a school of 750 students, and how it reinforces our school’s vision of learning for all. Participants will also have an opportunity to question the educators who designed and implemented the model.

Session Thursday, March 20 | 2:15 pm + Friday, March 21 | 9:15 am
School(s) Sanborn Regional High School, Kingston, NH
Presenters Mark Giuliucci (Freshman Learning Community PLC team leader), Brian M. Stack (principal), Andrew Wood (Career & Technical Education PLC team leader)
Website www.sau17.org/schools/high-school
Material https://greatschools.egnyte.com/publicController.do?folderName=20140319&fileName=IPSBkjd3t9
Contact Brian M. Stack | bstack@sau17.org

NH

Introducing Aspire: Competency-Based Learning Unbound

Description

In July, the Virtual Learning Academy Charter School was awarded a Next Generation Learning Challenge grant to implement a breakthrough college-readiness model. Called VLACS Aspire, the model provides students and families with the opportunity to radically personalize learning by creating individualized “learning playlists” that reflect their particular interests and goals. Students earn competencies through a variety of learning pathways, including independent studies, projects, internships, work experiences, online courses, face-to-face courses, hobbies, service learning, or a combination of activities. Students who participate in a VLACS Aspire learning experience will find that there is no prescribed way or timeline for earning a competency; there is just the way that works best for the student. Participants in this session will leave with a better understanding of competency-based education and the VLACS Aspire program.

Session Thursday, March 20 | 2:15 pm + 3:45 pm
School(s) Virtual Learning Academy Charter School, Exeter, NH
Presenters Anthony Baldasaro (chief human resource officer), Steve Kossakoski (chief executive officer), Gary Tirone (special projects coordinator)
Website vlacs.org
Material NH_VLACs_NESSC_presentation_reduce.pdf https://greatschools.egnyte.com/h-s/20140414/eQ6G4hex7r
Contact Steve Kossakoski | skossakoski@vlacs.org

RI

Turning a School Around: Lessons Learned in a Large Urban School

Description

In 2010, Central Falls High School experienced a very challenging year. After being deemed “persistently low achieving” and in need of intervention by the Rhode Island Department of Education, the school created a bold plan to improve graduation rates, the school culture, and student math proficiency. While the past three years have not always been easy, the entire school community—teachers, students, parents, and community partners—have come together to make the school truly great place to learn. And progress is happening: the four-year graduation rate improved from 48% in 2009 to 70% in 2012, while student proficiency in mathematics has nearly doubled. In addition, community members all report an improved school culture and learning environment. In this session, the presenters will tell the Central Falls story from multiple perspectives, giving participants an insider’s view of the struggles and successes of large urban school in the process of improving. In addition, the presenters will share findings from The Central Falls High School Third Year Transformation Report, an independent study conducted by the Education Alliance and the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University.

Session Thursday, March 20 | 2:15 pm + Friday, March 21 | 9:15 am
School(s) Central Falls High School, Central Falls, RI
Presenters Evelyn Cante (student), Victor Capellan (deputy superintendent for transformation), Kim Cataldo (teacher), Joshua Laplante (principal), Therese McMaugh (parent), Susan Volluci (teacher)
Website www.cfschools.net
Contact Victor F. Capellan | capellanv@cfschools.net

RI

Teacher Leading Professional Development

Description

Over the past two years, Coventry High School and Alan Shawn Feinstein Middle School have been working together to increase professional-development opportunities for all faculty members. By utilizing “resident experts” to deliver professional development in technology, the Common Core State Standards, formative assessment, and questioning skills, teachers have increased their professional knowledge and skills in these critical instructional areas. Participants will leave the session with a clear framework for building capacity in their schools through teacher-led professional development.

Session Thursday, March 20 | 3:45 pm + Friday, March 21 | 1:15 pm
School(s) Coventry High School and Alan Shawn Feinstein Middle School, Coventry, RI
Presenters Maria Boulmetis (teacher, Alan Shawn Feinstein Middle School), Lynne Burke (assistant principal, Coventry High School), Jennifer Graham (teacher, Alan Shawn Feinstein Middle School), Michael Hobin (principal, Coventry High School), Arthur Lisi (principal, Alan Shawn Feinstein Middle School), Michael Rockwell (teacher, Coventry High School), Cynthia Teixeira (teacher, Coventry High School), Joyce Windrow (teacher, Coventry High School)
Website www.coventryschools.net
Material http://bit.ly/1ePXcdJ
Contact Michael Hobin | hobinmichael@coventryschools.net
Arthur Lisi | LisiArthur@coventryschools.net

RI

The Power of Collective Practice

Description

When teachers collaborate and learn from one another, both classroom practice and student performance improves. A highly qualified but professionally isolated teacher is no longer enough—to overcome today’s educational challenges, teachers need to work together. While new evaluation systems may help to improve teaching, they still do not harness the power of collective practice. Cumberland High School’s emerging plan focuses on the school as an instructional organization, while using collective practice to enhance instructional quality and effectiveness. In this session, participants will learn how to use technology, social media, professional learning groups, micro-teaching, “Smarter Cookie,” an “open door” initiative, new leadership approaches, and RTI data systems to increase the professional capacity of their school.

Session Thursday, March 20 | 3:45 pm + Friday, March 21 | 9:15 am
School(s) Cumberland High School, Cumberland, RI
Presenters Jessie Butash (assistant principal), Adolfo Costa (assistant principal), Malinda DeWaele (STEM Interdisciplinary Coordinator), Amanda Letoile (humanities interdisciplinary coordinator), Alan Tenreiro (principal)
Website www.cumberlandschools.org/content/cumberland-high-school
Contact Alan Tenreiro | alan.tenreiro@cumberlandschools.org

RI

Making the Shift from Student to Learner and Teacher to Educator

Description

How can we turn our students into learners and our teachers into educators? Westerly High School—a suburban, comprehensive school of just under a thousand students in southern Rhode Island—is on a mission to answer this fundamental question. In this interactive session, presenters will highlight four school-wide strategies that are advancing the shift: project-based learning (the presenters will showcase the design of a new graduation pathway solely dedicated to project-based learning in an off-campus setting); a school-wide writing initiative (our writing lab bolsters interdisciplinary writing and encourages collaboration with colleagues and students to instill writing confidence and competence); an innovative approach to professional development (the presenters will share their “un-conferencing” strategy that is both meaningful and relevant to the educators and student needs), and a new reporting system (our work reconciles traditional and proficiency-based grading and reporting, which has resulted in higher-quality feedback to students and greater consistency in reporting progress and achievement). Participants will rotate through four sessions and return to a topic of choice to deepen their understanding.

Session Friday, March 21 | 10:45 am + 1:15 pm
School(s) Westerly High School, Westerly, RI
Presenters Anne Barnhart (NBCT English teacher), Lorri Dean (coordinator of PBL academy), Tony Lementowicz (instructional coordinator), Brendan Murphy (special education department chair), Steven Ruscito (principal), Carmela Sammataro (former English department chair), Sarah Steverman (world language department chair), Shelby Worsham (cosmetology teacher)
Website www.westerly.k12.ri.us
Material https://greatschools.egnyte.com/publicController.do?folderName=20140319&fileName=6vl4rd46Gj
Contact Steven Ruscito | sruscito@westerly.k12.ri.us

VT

Can You Show What You Know? One School’s Approach to Proficiency-Based Learning

Description

Many schools are replacing the Carnegie unit and high-stakes assessments with proficiency-based approaches that provide opportunities for students to demonstrate their learning in more authentic and personally meaningful ways. Yet proficiency-based learning brings its own set of challenges for schools. In this workshop, participants will learn how proficiency-based learning is practiced in a personalized, experiential-learning school-within-a-school. Presenters will share their process for transitioning to proficiency-based learning and show how they document and communicate student achievement on reports and transcripts. Students will share their experiences, including examples of projects they have undertaken to meet expected proficiencies. Participants will also leave with concrete action steps they can take to explore or implement proficiency-based learning in their own schools.

Session Thursday, March 20 | 3:45 pm + Friday, March 21 | 1:15 pm
School(s) Big Picture South Burlington High School, South Burlington, VT
Presenters Ella Downey (student), Anna Finklestein (advisor), Amelia Payne (student), Shelby Resposa (student), Jim Shields (advisor)
Website bigpicturesb.net
Presentation Big_Picture_So._Burlington_NESSC_Powerpoint_.pdf
Contact Jim Shields | jshields@bigpicturesb.net

VT

A Magical Mystery Tour: Arts-Infused, Project-Based Learning

Description

Cabot School’s high-school band has transformed into a professional soul-funk-rock band. Calling themselves The Limes, the group cut an album at a well-known recording studio and will be going on an East Coast tour later this spring. From management and booking to songwriting and technology, The Limes have taken on all of the responsibilities necessary to independently manage their band and enter the professional music world. This workshop will feature performances by the band and student presentations on how Cabot’s project-based-learning environment helped them learn how to problem solve, promote themselves, and navigate the music business. Music teacher Brian Boyes will also share two related projects in which band students produced music-documentary programs for a local radio station that highlighted the social and cultural aspects of their repertoire. Participants will get a glimpse into the school’s curriculum-mapping process and tips on how to meaningfully infuse the arts into a project-based teaching and learning environment.

Session Friday, March 21 | 9:15 am + 10:45 am
School(s) Cabot School, Cabot, VT
Presenters Brian Boyes (teacher, project-based learning coach), Heidi Cookson (student), Kassandra Morse (student), Timothy Mueller-Harder (student), Dave Schilling (teacher), Gage Sironi (student)
Website www.cabotschool.org
Contact Brian Boyes | bboyes@cabotschool.org

VT

Seamless Coexistence: Integrating Coursework and Personalized Learning

Description

Mount Abraham has spent the last five years developing a personalized-pathways program that is based on the Big Picture model—but with one significant difference: the great majority of the students who take part in the pathways program also take other courses at the school. While our hybrid model has allowed many more students to take advantage of personalized learning at Mount Abraham, it also created a variety of dilemmas that school leaders have had to address. In this workshop, the presenters will describe the continuum of personalized-learning opportunities offered by the school, and engage participants in a frank and honest discussion of the school’s struggles with a blended model of student learning. Participants will have a chance to hear from and ask questions to staff and students, and they will leave the workshop with a stronger understanding of personalized learning, as well as the challenges and conflicts that may arise and will need to be overcome.

Session Friday, March 21 | 10:45 am + 1:15 pm
School(s) Mount Abraham Union Middle/High School, Bristol, VT
Presenters Russell Comstock (personalized learning advisor), Gerrie Heuts (personalized learning advisor), Josie Jordan (personalized learning advisor), Andy Kepes (principal), Robin Kuhns (student), Brian Wendel (student)
Website mtabe.k12.vt.us
Contact Andy Kepes | akepes@anesu.org

VT

From Hypothesis to Practice: The Messiness of School-Wide Transformation

Description

As the classes of 2016 and 2017 begin their high school careers at Vergennes Union, the school’s transition to personalized, performance-based learning continues. Balancing the hopes and dreams of students and staff, the school has embraced rigor, relevance, and relationships, while also offering students voice and choice as they work to acquire vital 21st-century skills. In this presentation, students and teachers will share their recent adventures on their journey toward Performance-Based Graduation Requirements (PBGRs), including, from both the students’ and the teachers’ points of view, topics such as e-portfolio-based evaluation, yearlong projects, and integrated systems of support. In addition to hearing from all learners involved (teachers and students), participants can come away with tools and templates for enhancing the three “Rs” in their school.

Session Thursday, March 20 | 2:15 pm + 3:45 pm
School(s) Vergennes Union High School, Vergennes, VT
Presenters Matthew DeBlois (teacher), Brianna Gebo (student), Kristine Kirkaldy (teacher), Natalie Salley (student)
Website http://vuhs.org
Contact Matthew DeBlois | mdeblois@anwsu.org

NESSC Sessions

PROFICIENCY-BASED LEARNING SIMPLIFIED: TRANSCRIPTS AND REPORTING

Description

Shifting to a proficiency-based graduation system has implications for the design and content of transcripts. The New England Secondary School Consortium is working to develop exemplar transcripts and school profiles. Constructed in collaboration with college-admissions officers, the model transcript and profile provide thoughtful guidance and modeling for school districts to consider. This session will provide participants with a set of general principles they can use to design their system for reporting the summative academic record of an individual student heading to college or the workforce. Participants will receive helpful samples they can bring back to their faculties.

Session Thursday, March 20 | 2:15 pm + Friday, March 21 | 9:15 am
Presenters Mary Hastings (senior associate, Great Schools Partnership), Craig Kesselheim (senior associate, Great Schools Partnership)
Website www.greatschoolspartnership.org
Material http://www.greatschoolspartnership.org/nessc_transcripts
Contact Craig Kesselheim | ckesselheim@greatschoolspartnership.org

NESSC Sessions

RETHINKING EDUCATOR EVALUATION: A SYSTEM THAT WORKS

Description

When teachers are asked about evaluation, they typically report that they are rarely observed and almost never receive detailed or useful feedback. When principals are asked about evaluation, they often describe the burdens of paperwork and time, and how difficult it is to observe teachers consistently and effectively. Teachers and administrators agree: a new approach is needed. 
In this presentation, participants will examine key strategies they can use to meet teacher needs for feedback in a system that isn’t overbuilt for administrators. An evaluation system that focuses on frequent feedback and includes evidence of student learning and student voice can help to improve teaching and learning in our schools. Join us to learn some of the core principles of effective teacher evaluation and to share your experiences with others.

Session Thursday, March 20 | 3:45 pm
Presenters David Ruff (executive director, Great Schools Partnership), Ken Templeton (senior associate, Great Schools Partnership)
Website www.greatschoolspartnership.org
Material http://www.greatschoolspartnership.org/nessc_ed_eval
Contact Ken Templeton | ktempleton@greatschoolspartnership.org

NESSC Sessions

PROFICIENCY-BASED LEARNING SIMPLIFIED: FORMATIVE AND SUMMATIVE ASSESSMENT

Description

Assessments are a crucial part of the teaching-and-learning cycle. In a proficiency-based system, teachers assess for learning, using ongoing formative assessments to inform instructional adjustments for students. Incorporating an analysis of the formative-assessment practices used by leading educational experts, participants in this session will learn how to provide clear expectations for students, develop ongoing progress checks, and create a system in which students become agents of their own learning. The presenters will share examples of how teachers develop checks for understanding and discuss a variety of student-centered formative-assessment strategies such as peer assessment. This session will help participants understand the difference between formative and summative assessment; how to develop a manageable formative-assessment system in their classroom that supports student learning; and how to help their students reflect upon and evaluate their own learning progress.

Session Thursday, March 20 | 3:45 pm + Friday, March 21 | 1:15 pm
Presenters Angela Hardy (senior associate, Great Schools Partnership), Alex MacPhail (senior associate, Great Schools Partnership),
Website www.greatschoolspartnership.org
Material http://www.greatschoolspartnership.org/nessc_assessment
Contact Angela Hardy | ahardy@greatschoolspartnership.org

NESSC Sessions

MAKE SURE IT SURVIVES: DESIGNING HIGH-IMPACT, FORWARD-THINKING POLICIES FOR SUSTAINING PERSONALIZED LEARNING

Description

When policies work, no one notices; but when policies don’t, the results can be disastrous. Forward-thinking policies can sustain successful practices in the event of leadership or staff turnover—a critical consideration for schools that have invested years in the development of new systems of teaching and learning. Using the Consortium’s High Leverage Policy Framework and sample policies supporting proficiency-based learning, this presentation will show participants how to develop effective educational policies and leverage formal systems to create equitable, high-performing, student-centered schools.

Session Friday, March 21 | 10:45 am
Presenters Duke Albanese (senior policy advisor, Great Schools Partnership), Jean Haeger (senior associate, Great Schools Partnership)
Website www.greatschoolspartnership.org
Material http://www.greatschoolspartnership.org/nessc_policy
Contact Duke Albanese | dalbanese@greatschoolspartnership.org

NESSC Sessions

Proficiency-Based Learning Simplified – Part I & II

Description

In this two-part workshop, participants will learn about the fundamental components of an effective proficiency-based teaching and learning system, learn about an array of resources that can support their work, and begin to develop a plan that addresses policies, practices, and community-engagement activities that will lead to the successful implementation of proficiency-based learning.

Session Friday, March 21 | 9:15 am – 12:00 pm (2.5 hour session)
Presenters Jon Ingram (senior associate, Great Schools Partnership), Mark Kostin (associate director, Great Schools Partnership)
Website www.greatschoolspartnership.org
Material http://www.greatschoolspartnership.org/nessc_pbls/
Contact Jon Ingram | jingram@greatschoolspartnership.org

NESSC Sessions

Proficiency-Based Learning Simplified: Effective Unit Design

Description

So you have defined your standards and performance indicators. But now what? Is designing an instructional unit in a proficiency-based system really any different from the way we’ve been designing units all along?

In this presentation we will outline some of the essential design features of a proficiency-based unit, utilizing the Understanding by Design model developed by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe. We will also share unit examples from a variety of content areas and provide resources to support participants’ ongoing learning and planning.

Session Thursday, March 20 | 2:15 pm
Presenters Jean Haeger (senior associate, Great Schools Partnership), Alex MacPhail (senior associate, Great Schools Partnership)
Website www.greatschoolspartnership.org
Material http://www.greatschoolspartnership.org/nessc_unitdesign/
Contact Jean Haeger | jhaeger@greatschoolspartnership.org

NESSC Sessions

How to Talk About School Improvement: What You Need to Know

Description

In this presentation, participants will learn a variety of effective communication strategies that will work in any school or situation, including the construction of a compelling narrative, the power of specific examples, and the use of language that speaks to the core values of parents and community members. Specific examples and case studies will be used to illustrate the power of effective communications, including one Maine high school’s journey from low-performing rural school to a national model of personalized learning. Participants will also receive a brief introduction to the Glossary of Education Reform, a new online resource created by the Great Schools Partnership, and discuss how the glossary can help participants improve understanding of complex school-improvement concepts in their communities.

Session Friday, March 21 | 1:15 pm
Presenters Stephen Abbott (director of communications, Great Schools Partnership)
Website www.greatschoolspartnership.org
Contact Stephen Abbott | sabbott@greatschoolspartnership.org
©2012 New England Secondary School Consortium

For more information:

Stephen Abbott, Director of Communications

sabbott@greatschoolspartnership.org

PARTNERS