Managing the Rapids: Finding Focus in the Midst of Change (for school teams)
We urge that at least one of your school teams attend this informative workshop together.
The Eagle Rock Professional Development Center in Colorado has facilitated organizational change processes in schools across the country ranging from implementing best practices in instruction to influencing state department adoption of performance based assessments. The essence of their approach is to adopt the mindset and tools of "less is more." You will move from feelings of confusion to disciplined focus and greater confidence. You will leave the experience with a clear framework, aligned initiatives and focused strategy for your school setting. Morning session for schools and organizations A-M; afternoon session for schools and organizations N-Z.
Facilitator: Michael Soguero, Director of Professional Development, Eagle Rock Professional Development Center; assisted by Rowland Fellows
Start with the Student: What Do Students Really Want in Their Schools (student only session)
Do you ever wish that your High School offered different courses? Provided credit for a broader range of experiences? Had a more flexible schedule? Didn't look so much like, well, a high school? In this
student only session, participants will work to design an ideal school for today's world. Building on keynote speaker Dennis Littky's ideas about relationships, rigor and relevance, what would your
perfect school look and feel like? Come ready to brainstorm and design the best school for all learners.
Facilitators: Jean Berthiaume, Senior Rowland Associate, 2009 Rowland Fellow, Principal, Fayston Elementary School; and Mike Martin, Senior Rowland Associate, 2009 Rowland Fellow, Director of Curriculum and Technology, Montpelier School District
Concurrent Workshops Presented in Morning Sessions (Schools N-Z) and Afternoon Sessions (Schools A-M)
Seeing the Big Picture: Inside of One of Dennis Littky's Schools
What if you could have a high school education of your dreams? Big Picture South Burlington is an innovative school-within-a-school, serving students who are looking for greater relevance in their high school education. Students work with faculty to design their own individualized curriculum based on their passions, skills, and goals. Students learn through internships, independent projects, workshops, travel, and group experiences. At Big Picture we believe that education is everyone's business. Learning opportunities are everywhere, not just inside classrooms. Research tells us that we learn best when we are personally motivated. When we have a passion for what we are doing, knowledge unfolds and evolves naturally. We will have staff and students discussing this unique program and talking about the impact it has had on students' lives.
Presenters: Jason Cushner, Rowland Fellow 2013, Program Coordinator, South Burlington Big Picture School and Big Picture School students
Learning to Learn Independently: Personalizing Learning
Few students enter high school with the ability to find relevance and to direct the pathway of their own learning, but current policies in Vermont suggest that Personal Learning Plans, Learning Projects and Portfolio Development are priorities for the future. This workshop will provide an overview of rigorous personalized high school learning, then focus on processes that prepare students to set a course, plan learning projects, select community mentorships and assemble evidence of achievement in defined competency areas. A panel of experienced students will explain how they learned to learn independently. Then, participants will practice some steps in planning a personal pathway to the future and discuss ways to move forward from where they are now. Small groups will consider the feasibility of helping each student develop a personal pathway toward careers and higher education.
Presenter: John Clarke, UVM Professor Emeritus, author of many books including his most recent, Personalized Learning: Student- Designed Pathways to High School Graduation
The Sophomore Roundtable: Linking Advisory to Reflection and PlanningBy using e-portfolios linked to the schools 21st Century Learning Expectations, South Burlington High School's Sophomore Exhibition program finds staff-advisors guiding students through a process of self-reflection linked to future planning. This workshop will demonstrate the progression through which students move as part of their Sophomore Advisory experience and how this approach can be expanded into all grades. Participants will understand how a school created avenues for authentic and relevant reflection in the academic, civic and social frames. They will develop an understanding of the factors that contribute to a meaningful advisory program and enhanced relationships and how a school shaped a meaningful rite of passage by including students, peers, parents and community members in the process. Participants will also be introduced to the basics of creating an e-portfolio using Google Sites.
Presenters: From South Burlington High School, Patrick Burke, Principal; John Painter, teacher; Hannah Dransfield, English teacher/sophomore advisor; Peter Hawks, former parent, current advocate for youth via the Flyin' Ryan Foundation; Nissa Kauppila, teacher-advisor, facilitator of staff professional learning.
Grow Your Greens: Cultivating Integrated Learning through Food Systems
The Food System has the potential to increase student engagement and achievement by bringing relevance and rigor to your lessons. The complex nature of authentic learning experiences provides many opportunities to further enhance student learning through crosscurricular connections. This workshop will provide teachers with the background and tools to begin the process of creating engaging, experiential units in their respective disciplines, using the food system and the concept of sustainability as a vehicle for curricular integration. Educators and students will share a process for curriculum development, while citing specific examples of standards-based high school lessons.
Presenters: Tom Sabo, Montpelier High School Science Teacher; Executive Director, Center for Sustainable Systems, Rowland Fellow 2011; Colleen Purcell, Montpelier High School Science Teacher; Students TBD
Global Savvy: Cross-Cultural Competency in Virtual Environments
This workshop should appeal to world language and social studies teachers alike. Emerging technologies in the 21st century allow teachers and students to be more effective in the acquisition of foreign languages and cultural knowledge. Moreover, educational technology offers teachers and students opportunities for virtual exchange relationships, which give students mobility in the worldindependent of socioeconomic means. In this professional development workshop, participants explore the challenges and opportunities related to learning in virtual environments. Topics include professional development opportunities for teachers and administrators, the synergy between ground-based and virtual exchanges, and approaches that are economically sustainable when developing international educator collaborations. A Rowland-funded project, Virtual Intercultural Avenues, will be reviewed as an example of the use of virtual environments in a Vermont educational community. Following a brief plenary session, participants will explore their areas of interest in simultaneous breakout sessions and share their feelings with fellow workshop participants.
Presenters: Jill Prado, Essex High School, World Language Teacher, Rowland Fellow 2012, Gissele Drpich, World Language Teacher, Burlington High School, Sigrid Olson, Tech Integrationist, Vermont Agency of Education, Moira Taylor, student, Essex High School
More Than Just Grades: Transforming Learning through Proficiency-Based Graduation
Imagine a path to high school completion where students can take charge of their education in a passionate, authentic and relevant way. For more than a century, American high school students have earned "credits" by passing courses. When they accumulate enough credits, they receive a diploma. The problem with this approach is that credits do not always equal competency. Proficiency Based Graduation empowers students to show that they have reached a level of competency in the essential knowledge areas and skills sets needed for success in college work and life. Students may demonstrate understanding by writing a paper, delivering a presentation, or completing a challenging project, for example. This workshop will explain what Proficiency Based Graduation is, provide an overview of models currently in practice, and give you a new vision for what schools can be.
Presenter: Sarah Bertucci, Proficiency Based Learning Fellow, Burlington-Winooski Partnership for Change
Pursuing Passion: Year End Studies Programs
While you may struggle to find classes like movie production, Project Runway, American Sign Language and Perfume Making in most high school course catalogues, an innovative approach at Rutland and Burlington High Schools makes room for less traditional, highinterest courses in their calendars. For over a decade Rutland High School has been taking advantage of the end of the school year to offer intensive, two-week programming designed around field experiences, community based learning, internships, and full and half day seminar formats. Teachers are given the opportunity to create and teach subject matter that they are passionate about and cannot teach during the school year. These programs provide teachers with the time and space to experiment with new practices, team teaching, interdisciplinary approaches, and creative use of resources in what has become a veritable laboratory of innovation. This past year, Burlington High School launched their own version of Year End Studies, an immediate success among both faculty and students. In this workshop, presenters will speak to the logistics of the programming, but focus primarily on its benefits, from developing strong relationships between students and teachers, to the value of real world relevance in a curriculum that is every bit as rigorous as the rest of the year.
Presenters: Steve Sampson, Associate Principal, Rutland High School; Colby Skoglund, Design and Technology Teacher, Year End Studies Co-coordinator, Burlington High School, Gretchen Muller, Science Teacher, Year End Studies Co-coordinator, Burlington High School.
Building Capacity: Effective Community Engagement
Strong local support is essential for a highly functioning school system, but in today's information age, how can we foster genuine community relationships beyond the static of our email inboxes? This past year, in Burlington and Winooski, a group of educators decided to meet people where they live and congregate in an effort to gather support and feedback for a major initiative. In living rooms, community centers, and local businesses, educators headed out to inform people about and gather feedback on the development of new, overhauled Graduate Expectations at both high schools. In intimate settings, people were able to ask questions and contribute to the ongoing conversation around the question, "What do our graduates need to succeed?" This innovative approach not only built strong community support for updated Graduate Expectations in both districts, but has led to new, important relationships in both communities moving forward. In this workshop, presenters will talk about the decision to invite themselves into our community members' homes and shared spaces, what happened once they got there, and how they this process will continue to play a role in the schools.
Presenters: From Burlington High School, Peter McConville, English Teacher, Rowland Fellow 2011; Benjamin Roesch, English Teacher; Dov Stucker, Social Studies Teacher, Jill Jacobelli, English Teacher from Winooski High School, Matthew Webb, English Teacher
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