A Systems View of Personalized Learning

Personalized learning requires some flattening of the top-down hierarchy of school to make space for meaningful partnerships where key stakeholders have voice in designing their aspirations as well as co-creation in the approach. Yet, how do you begin to shift roles, structures, practices and policies from a systems point of view?

This newsletter focuses on key leaders that have been engaged in that challenge.

Bena and I had an opportunity to chat with two Superintendents on their multi-year endeavors to engage the entire school community on necessary shifts.

  • Devin Vodicka, former Superintendent of Vista Unified Schools in California, looks back on his approach both at the local level and the national level. He discusses what transformational changes are needed. Watch now!
  • Pat Deklotz, Superintendent of Kettle Moraine School District in Wisconsin, describes how the Board of Education wanted a transformational change (mission and vision) and she was the steward of leading that process. Thirteen years later, she reflects on where they are, what they have accomplished, and what sights they have to continue to live their mission. Watch now!

In addition, we have three guest blog posts delineating three different approaches:

  • You have already seen terrific guest blog posts from many of the Daniel Hand High School teachers (David Buller, Kristin Mancini, Laura Stott, Kevin Siedlecki, David Russo, Denise Earles) — now hear the approach at the district level. Gail Dahling-Hench, Assistant Superintendent from Madison, CT describes how her district is working to realize their mission through empowering individual teachers to create personalized learning opportunities with their students.
  • I didn’t realize that when I met the building leaders (admin and teacher-leaders) from Champlain Union Valley High School in Vermont, this was not our first time together. Many moons ago (9 years to be exact), this group attended a conference where Grant Wiggins and I were presenting. Fast forward to a few weeks ago when I had the pleasure of working with them again. This is a blog post by Stan Williams and Emily Rinkema that highlights the epiphany they had about the connection between personalized learning and proficiency based learning.
  • Last and certainly not least middle school principals Tricia Raneri and Tim Salem, and assistant superintendent Kimberly Beck from Ridgefield, CT share how they are leveraging a group of teacher-leaders (A.K.A. “Team Imagine”) from across both buildings to create meaningful learning opportunities with their students. See their approach and concrete examples of the result that was presented to staff at both middle schools.

Thank you for continuing to read and share! Keep your feedback coming!

Allison Zmuda
Educational Consultant and Founder of Learning Personalized

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