What work looks like at St. Albans City School
Students at St Albans City School, in St. Albans VT, have the ability to apply for in-school intern positions such as Financial Officer, Chief Executive Officer, Director of Communication and a whole lot more. What would it look like if your students could do an internship right there in school?
Here’s what it would look like.
Public displays of learning are not always the end.
How do you know when meaningful, relevant, personalized and authentic learning has really occurred? Is the charge and scaffolding strong enough to continue the learning after the in-school time has expired?
One measure is looking at what happens after the project ends.
Video reflection + social interaction
The role of feedback and reflection are key strategies in best middle level practice for students and educators alike. Finding engaging ways for this exchange to take place in meaningful and relevant ways is, for many of us, a challenge.
Who let the dogs in?
For some students, being ready to learn when they arrive at school is a big ask, and more than a few carry trauma or mental health burdens through their day. And that’s why more and more, schools in Vermont are adding therapy dogs to their staffing rosters.
And they’re seeing some pretty pawsitive benefits to the arrangement.
The growing trend of increasing student voice and choice in schools is opening authentic opportunities for dialogues between students and adults. Students, when given the opportunity to present to educators and administrators, almost always deliver on a level far beyond what many think middle schoolers are capable of.
And that’s exactly what’s been happening at Colchester Middle School.
Making sure Proficiency work includes all students
Recently, I was in a middle school team meeting walking folks through some proficiencyb-based learning scenarios and one teacher said “I have a student who is performing at a 4th grade level, what do I do?”
What proficiency-based learning looks like
Winooski Middle and High School, in bustling Winooski, VT, has been quietly making the journey to proficiency-based learning and proficiency-based graduation requirements for the past six years.
And the resources they’ve constructed along the way — to support students, teachers and families — celebrate cultural and ethnic diversity and challenge inequity. They provide clear and solid guidelines around proficiencies.
School leadership in turbulent times
As schools prepare to welcome students through their doors, many educators are researching how to talk with their students about the attacks in Charlottesville or Barcelona. Or how to respond to student concerns about diversity, tolerance and equity. Or, ulp, how to address this recent article by Wired, revealing that the state with the highest percentage of online trolls is… Vermont.
Starting these conversations, and addressing our current crisis of digital citizenship takes courage and can often feel uncomfortable, but they all begin with one small step, then another, and another after that. They’re acts in which extraordinary courage soon becomes #everydaycourage, and we’re fortunate to have some leaders in the #vted ecosphere — administrators, educators and students — showing us the way.
Taking stock on implementing Vermont’s Act 77
“Do you know where you are?”
Usually it’s a question medical professionals ask in emergency situations. It’s not as dramatic in the context of education, but it can be just as useful as a diagnostic criteria.
We’re going to ask you to take stock of where you are in the implementation of three pillars: Personalization (PLP’s), Proficiency, and Flexible Pathways. They’re the three pillars holding up Act 77, Vermont’s legislation to put students at the center of innovative school change.
whips out a clipboard, tucks pen behind ear
How do you explain PBL to families?
The popularity of Project-Based Learning (PBL) has grown significantly with teachers and students, but what about parents? When students walk out of school, do they communicate their excitement about PBL to their families?
Let’s look at some resources for helping parents understand why PBL is so engaging for students.