Implementation of personal learning plans (PLPs) around Vermont
As Vermont works through the first year of implementing personalized learning and Act 77, Flexible pathways to secondary education completion (pdf) there ‘s a lot of discussion on the best way to implement personalized learning in Vermont.
PLPs are non-traditional pathways by which students can navigate from entrance to graduation in a way that’s personally meaningful. By studying topics they’re passionate about, students continue to stay engaged; by collaborating on the plans with educators and family, students’ passions can be translated into real-world learning that oftentimes exceeds standards for learning.
Taking it to the streets: PLPs are a community issue
At Essex High School, students construct STEM-based PLPs within an advisory, doing both group and individually constructed projects, and choosing a community partner with whom to complete an internship where credit hours take place during the traditional school day.
And check out these letters to the local newspaper, penned by Hazen Union High School educators and students, helping their local community understand the importance of moving from traditional education to PLPs. As they put it:
The team has published a series of editorials in our local newspaper, The Hardwick Gazette. Each letter featured a stakeholder writing about one component of Flexible Pathways. Our goal was to build understanding and support in our community for Act 77 from different perspectives.
Hazen High School’s letters to the editor:
They also produced, with the help of a grant from the Vermont Principal’s Association, a video in which students query local community members about their knowledge of Act 77:
Communicating district-wide change
Dan French, superintendent of the Bennington-Rutland Supervisory Union (BRSU), explained his district’s journey with exploring which technology to use in implementing PLPs and digital portfolios. BRSU opted for the Haiku LMS, and French was able to explain how the district came to that decision, and how they managed the expectations of their stakeholders and community. You can see French’s slides here, and listen to the session via Soundcloud, below.
Lauren Parren, from Mt Abraham Union Middle/High School in Bristol, has worked with some 7th graders on assembling a sample digital portfolio to share with educators. Digital portfolios at Mt. Abe, as its called, take the form of Google sites, and Parren noted that one of the many benefits of using that platform is that it teaches students file management, a skill that’s quickly becoming a key to successful 21st century digital performance.
Dig deeper into PLPs with us:
Here are some readings to get you started on some of the conversations around PLPs in Vermont: