New England Secondary School Consortium

2013 School Redesign in Action Conference

NESSC States

Connecticut Sessions

From Raising the Bar to Removing the Barriers: Every Student College-Bound

Conard High School, West Hartford, CT

To prepare all students for postsecondary education, Conard High School encourages every student to enroll in at least one college-level course before graduation. In our diverse and dynamic high school of 1,600 students, more than 75 percent of graduates have taken one or more Advanced Placement or accredited state-university courses. In this multimedia-driven session, the presenters will describe the wide range of interactive, real-world activities and outside-of-the-box strategies that helped our school promote high expectations for every student and increase postsecondary attainment. Exemplar learning expectations, professional development opportunities, and schedule and course designs will be shared. Participants will also learn how parents, teachers, and district leaders have cultivated a college-going and career-confident culture; how the school’s accountability and intervention systems support all students and student subgroups; and how research-based models and resources were used to effectively promote higher expectations, more equitable academic success, and increased college enrollments.

Sessions
Thursday, March 21 | 3:45 pm; Friday, March 22 | 9:15 am
Presenters

Steve Bassi (teacher), Peter Cummings (principal), Julio Duarte (assistant principal), Kristin Mangini (school counselor), Tom Paleologopoulos (department chair), Marylou Shand (school counselor)

Presentation
Contact

Peter Cummings, peter_cummings@whps.org

Mastery Lessons: Year One in Our Transition to a Mastery-Based Diploma

High School in the Community, New Haven, Connecticut

This session, facilitated by teachers and students, will describe how this unique school—located in the heart of a major urban area and collaboratively led by the faculty—rallied together to embrace mastery-based education, student-centered learning, and personalized instruction to meet the needs of our students. We are in the initial year of this work and have already seen the benefits of this system, from more accurately reporting what our students are learning to dramatically enhancing our ability to provide targeted interventions and supports. Participants in this session will learn how we are reporting learning, how this is informing our system of supports and interventions, and how student voice and choice is transforming our school.

Sessions
Thursday, March 21 | 3:45 pm; Friday, March 22 | 9:15 am
Presenters

Chastity Berrios (student), Solanlly Canas (student), Lauren Evanovich (special education teacher), Erik Good (building leader), Riley Gibbs (math teacher), Sarah Marchesi (history teacher), Matt Presser (English teacher)

Presentation
Contact

How Global Best Practices & NEASC led to a Mastery-Based Diploma

New Fairfield High School, New Fairfield, Connecticut

At New Fairfield High School, the arrival of the NESSC’s Global Best Practices tool coincided with the start of our mandatory NEASC self-study process. Our faculty completed these two activities simultaneously. What resulted were not only a set of 21st century student learning expectations, but comprehensive and thoughtful guidance on how best to structure and support learning in our school. This critical exercise has launched our efforts to implement a mastery-based diploma. Participants in this session will learn how a secondary school can facilitate both a NEASC self-study and a Global Best Practices review that leads to a comprehensive, multi-year strategic plan that will result in the implementation of a mastery-based diploma.

Session
Friday, March 22 | 10:45 am + 1:00 pm
Presenters

Mariana Coelho (principal), Cynthia Risch (teacher), Carol Wantman (teacher)

Presentation
Contact

Maine Sessions

The STEM Endorsement: A Flexible Model for Multiple Pathways

Falmouth High School, Falmouth, Maine

Falmouth High School developed three “endorsements”—seals on a transcript indicating successfully completed extended learning opportunities—that we are making available to students in the areas of STEM, fine arts, and global citizenship. The STEM endorsement was rolled out this year, with fine arts planned for 2013–2014 and global citizenship for 2014–2015. Each endorsement area allows students to meet Falmouth’s graduation requirements. In this unique workshop, participants will engage in an open discussion of the foundational principles motivating the endorsements and of the different concerns and compromises that have been faced so far. Participants will also act as critical friends to the presenters, helping them work through ongoing concerns and refine plans that are already in place. The presenters will discuss strategies for connecting outside-of-class activities with the regular curriculum, attracting a heterogeneous student population (rather than appealing only to the top ten percent of students), and ensuring that students who enter the program are passionate about the area of study.

Sessions
Thursday, March 21 | 3:45 pm; Friday, March 22 | 9:15 am
Presenters

John Kralijic (STEM teacher), Wendy Northrup (music and chorus teacher), Nisu Seder (art teacher), Cathy Stankard (curriculum director)

Contact

Gregg Palmer, gpalmer@falmouth.org

Better Together: Community-Driven School Change

Sanford High School, Sanford, Maine

Imagine what can happen when a school system invites its community to engage in a visioning process. Imagine a systemic remodeling of the way education is delivered and imagine community members helping to make the new system a reality. Relationships change. Structures evolve. Solutions emerge. Sanford High School is working with our community to create a student-centered, proficiency-based learning system. With assistance from the Re-Inventing Schools Coalition, a collaborative professional development program is helping teachers integrate standards-based learning targets, 21st century skills, and new technologies into their instruction. Community partners provide learning spaces, internships, service-learning experiences, and extend-learning opportunities to students. Parents are taking active leadership roles in the civic life of the community and creating better opportunities for youth and families. In this session, participants will learn about the diverse strategies that Sanford High School has used to engage, inform, and partner with parents, community organizations, and local businesses—a process that has led to significant organizational, cultural, and educational change.

Session
Friday, March 22 | 10:45 am + 1:00 pm
Presenters

Pam Cote (extended learning opportunities coordinator), Samantha Hansen (community liaison), Kathy McKechnie (coordinator of Sanford Out of School Time Alliance), Jedediah Petsinger (principal), Kristen Wiegand (parent coordinator for Our Schools/Our Future)

Contact

Jed Petsinger, jpetsinger@sanford.org

Bridging the Divide: Connecting Students to College and Careers

United Technologies Center, Bangor, Maine

United Technologies Center launched a new pilot program that brings together the combined strengths of four educational institutions and gives students the opportunity to earn college credits while still in high school. In partnership with Hermon High School, Eastern Maine Community College, and the University of Maine, the new program assists high school students in college and career assessment, exploration, and advisement. Students are engaged in an integrated, skill-based educational experience that connects academics to real-world careers through integrated CTE labs. Students can also choose to earn an associate’s degree within twelve months of graduation, with the option of transferring into a bachelor’s degree program. Participants in this session will learn how stakeholders from high schools, career and technical centers, and institutions of higher education can forge powerful partnerships and provide highly relevant learning pathways for students that also lead to an associate’s degree.

Session
Friday, March 22 | 10:45 am + 1:00 pm
Presenters

Dwight Littlefield (Maine Department of Education), Angela Marcolini (instructor of innovative engineering, University
of Maine), Brian Walsh (principal, Hermon High School), Frederick Woodman (director, United Technologies Center), Eastern Maine Community College representative

Presentation
Contact

Frederick Woodman, fwoodman.utc@gmail.com

New Hampshire Sessions

Realizing Equity: How to Make the Ideal Real

Kearsarge Regional High School, New London, New Hampshire

While everyone agrees that students deserve an equitable education, developing the learning environment, culture, and strategies that meet the needs of all students—while still challenging them to excel—is no easy task. During this session, representatives from Kearsarge Regional High School will discuss their heterogeneously grouped ninth- and tenth-grade teams. Presenters will describe the structure of each team, the changes that were made to the master schedule, the requirements for core courses, the differentiated instructional strategies used by teachers, the collaboration and interdisciplinary projects that drive the team-based approach, and the competencies, assessments, and layers of student support that make it all work. In this session, participants will learn the critical processes and steps needed to develop and implement powerful learning communities that support personalized learning where demonstrating competencies through engaging and relevant projects is the norm.

Sessions
Thursday, March 21 | 3:45 pm; Friday, March 22 | 9:15 am
Presenters

Peter Bianchi (math teacher), Sharon Boyle (special education teacher), James Doneski (English teacher), James Daley (principal), Katherine McCandless (science teacher), David Miller (assistant principal), Shannon Potts (English teacher), Curtis Roddy (social studies teacher), Beth Stern (guidance counselor)

Contact

World Class: The Lebanon NxGL Learning Studio

Lebanon High School, Lebanon, New Hampshire

Over the past year and half, Lebanon High School has been working with the New Hampshire Department of Education and the Next Generation Learning (NxGL) initiative. The goal: develop a world-class system of personalized, authentic, performance-based learning for every student that includes comprehensive support systems and anytime/anywhere learning experiences. As a NxGL Learning Studio, Lebanon is preparing today’s youth for success in college, careers, and civic life by organizing teachers, students, and business leaders into teams that promote deeper learning, more effective teaching, and higher-impact community engagement. Our students are developing the core academic knowledge, collaborative problem-solving strategies, communication abilities, and lifelong learning skills that are essential for success in every area of adult life. Participants will learn the necessary steps to develop structured personalized learning pathways where students are highly engaged in demonstrating college and career-ready standards. In addition, participants will learn how to ensure assessments are designed in a way determines how well students know both content area and 21st century competencies.

Session
Friday, March 22 | 9:15 am + 10:45 am
Presenters

Nan Parsons (principal), Bonnie Robinson (ELO teacher), Jason Tetu (social studies teacher)

Presentation
Contact

Nan Parsons, nparsons@sau88.net

Personalized Pathways to the High School Diploma

Nashua High School North, Nashua, New Hampshire

Nashua High School North serves the second largest district in New Hampshire, yet our dropout rate has fallen well below the state average and we have the highest college-going rates for an urban public high school (84 percent) in the state. Despite a poverty rate that has risen above 40 percent, we have expanded enrollment in advanced courses and our students have achieve Advanced Placement exam scores that are higher than the national average. In this session, presenters will describe the many personalized pathways to graduation that have helped our students succeed academically. We will also share our plans for future programs and even stronger performance. Participants will not only learn our diploma programs, but they will have the opportunity to reflect on the diploma policies and practices currently in place in their districts.

Session
Friday, March 22 | 10:45 am + 1:00 pm
Presenters

Nicole Leclaire (guidance director), Maureen O’Dea (director of guidance, Nashua School District), David Ryan (principal), Jennifer Seusing (assistant superintendent, Nashua School District)

Presentation
Contact

David Ryan, ryand@nashua.edu

Rhode Island Sessions

Be Honest! Are You Standards-Referenced or Standards-Based?

Cumberland High School, Cumberland, Rhode Island

Moving to a proficiency-based graduation system is challenging—but it’s also worth it. Cumberland High School is the first secondary school in Rhode Island to overhaul grading, assessment, and reporting as it moves toward an authentic proficiency-based diploma that will prepare every graduate for college, careers, and citizenship. In this session, the presenters will discuss how secondary schools can transition from a system of credits, compliance, and chastisement to one that is based on progress and performance. Participants will leave with a set of practical steps they can use to develop measurement standards, learning targets, and common rubrics that are easily understood and implemented. The presenters will also explain how we aligned a multi-tiered support system with teacher evaluation, developed our strategic plans, and renewed our focus on data to achieve district-wide change. Community-engagement strategies, progress reports, and report-card designs will also be shared.

Sessions
Thursday, March 21 | 3:45 pm; Friday, March 22 | 9:15 am
Presenters

Bethany Coughlin (assistant principal, McCourt Middle School), Richard Drolet (principal, North Cumberland Middle School), James Field (PBIS coordinator), Chris Scott (math department chair), Alan Tenreiro (principal, Cumberland High School)

Presentation
Contact

Pathways to Success: Proficiency-Based Career Academies

Ponaganset Middle School | Ponaganset High School, North Scituate, Rhode Island

Foster-Glocester Regional School District is moving toward multi-year pathways designed to prepare students for college and careers. Our comprehensive middle and high school recently established a STEM Academy pathway in grades 6–12, as well as pathways in the performing arts (music and music technology), agriculture (plant and animal science), alternative energy, and construction and cabinet-making. Additional pathways are being developed, and all of our pathways are designed to increase the rigor and relevance of course offerings and help students earn college credit or industry certifications. Our high school also requires students to demonstrate proficiency through a digital portfolio and graduation exhibition, which may be based on a student’s work in advanced pathway courses. In this session, participants will learn about the design processes and principles necessary for secondary schools to take in order to develop comprehensive student learning pathways that are rigorous and relevant. In addition, participants will learn how to incorporate the support and assessment of 21st century skills.

Session
Friday, March 22 | 10:45 am + 1:00 pm
Presenters

Michael Barnes (Foster-Glocester superintendent), Greg Gongoleski (teacher and department chairperson), Patricia Marcotte (principal, Ponaganset Middle School), Sandra Nolan (principal, Ponaganset High School), Malaree Searle (teacher), Karyn Sarkis (guidance department co-chair)

Contact

Patricia Marcotte, pmarcotte@fg.k12.ri.us
Sandra Nolan, snolan@fg.k12.ri.us

Community Classroom: The Newport as a Museum Project

Rogers High School, Newport, Rhode Island

The Newport as a Museum project takes advantage of the natural and cultural offerings of Newport, Rhode Island, using the city as a classroom to enhance literacy skills, engagement, and self-efficacy for 40 ninth- and tenth-grade students. Through partnerships with the Newport Preservation Society and other local organizations, students gain access and exposure to a variety of historical sites and cultural experiences. The teachers guide, instruct, and support students as they work cooperatively to explore, observe, research, record, and compile findings in a multimedia database. Supplemental readings, interviews, and media sources provide additional enrichment. The final product is a multi-genre multimedia report exploring the depth and breadth of the Newport landscape through the eyes of its teenage citizens. Participants in this workshop will learn about the theoretical basis for the project, and the organizational and logistical considerations that emerge when instruction breaks free of the traditional classroom walls.

Sessions
Thursday, March 21 | 3:45 pm; Friday, March 22 | 9:15 am
Presenters

Zinovia Canale (English department head), Nancy Noonan (English teacher)

Vermont Sessions

Student-Centered Transformation: One School’s Journey

Burlington High School, Burlington, Vermont

Burlington High School, a large urban high school, has transformed learning by creating ninth grade academies, initiating one-to-one technology learning using iPads, and providing extended student-choice driven project-based learning opportunities. These initiatives, which require a clear articulation of learning expectations and effective teacher collaboration are informing our ongoing comprehensive school improvement efforts and our journey towards implementing our proficiency-based model of learning. Participants will learn about the strategies undertaken in this large school to successfully chart the course for whole school transformation. These include supporting teacher teams, incorporating digital learning, and designing extended student-centered learning projects.

Session
Thursday, March 21 | 10:45 am + 1:00 pm
Presenters

Amy Mellencamp (principal), Nick Molander (assistant principal and ninth grade academy coordinator), Gretchen Muller (biology teacher), Colby Skoglund (design technology teacher)

Presentation
Contact

Amy Mellencamp, amellenc@bsdvt.org

School-Based Academies: Multiple Pathways to Personalize Learning

Essex High School, Essex Junction, Vermont

As part of its transformation process, Essex High School made a commitment to supporting students, personalizing learning, and developing multiple pathways—all within a comprehensive high school model. We began by creating academies for students interested in either the arts or the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering, and math. In 2013, our Academy of Visual and Performing Arts will enter its third year and our STEM Academy will enroll its first students. Working within the existing governance structure, Essex created integrated “schools within a school” to support student interests and aspirations through strategies such as seminars, capstone projects, master-teacher workshops, and career internships—all of which allow students to maintain a sense of belonging in the larger school community. In this session, the presenters will share their stories, successes, and struggles, and participants will learn about the leverage points we used to advance our work and the barriers our school overcame to develop and sustain our academies.

Sessions
Thursday, March 21 | 3:45 pm; Friday, March 22 | 9:15 am
Presenters

Kim Audette (STEM director), Julian Bradshaw (AVPA director), Lea Ann Smith (STEMinar teacher), Rob Reardon (principal)

Presentation
Contact

Amy Cole, acole@ccsuvt.org

Ready for Life: The Power of High Expectations and Personal Learning Plans

Williamstown Middle High School, Williamstown, Vermont

At Williamstown Middle High School, we have reimagined ninth grade to ensure our students are successful, well-known, supported, and enthusiastically engaged. We accomplish this by developing personal learning plans and by incorporating a variety of early and ongoing assessments that tailor our interventions and supports. This work, guided by the Common Core State Standards, is done in collaboration with multiple stakeholders in our community. Participants will learn how to implement comprehensive strategies for designing and supporting personalized learning through early assessment of foundational college- and career-readiness skills using ACT’s KeyTrain Curriculum 101. Participants will also learn how to develop and manage personal learning plans that lead to relevant learning in collaboration with career and technical centers, institutions of higher education, and other community resources.

Session
Friday, March 22 | 10:45 am + 1:00 pm
Presenters

Dennis Delena (teacher), Sandy FitzMorris (teacher), Scott Lang (principal), Lisa Page (teacher), Alicia Rominger (learning coordinator)

Contact

Scott Lang, slang.wmhs@onsu.org

Return to top