Students have the ability to monitor their own progress, select books in a preferred genre, and read at their own ability level. Teachers can create book sets to support the curriculum; over 70 percent of the books are nonfiction and support our core instruction. In addition, teachers can monitor numbers of books read, time spent reading, and see the results of comprehension assessments.
In addition to digital tools and resources, the district has embraced a culture of innovation where staff and students alike are encouraged to take risks and pilot new approaches. Staff and students embracing these projects are expected to collect data on the results and share new, best practices with their peers.
Ideas generated and experimented with include an exciting new elementary choice school where personalized learning happens through multi-age learning communities where they leverage digital tools and resources to help meet students where they are at in their learning. At the high school level, academies are emerging in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) as well as in other content areas, all including detailed approaches to personalizing the learning for their students.
The excitement and professional development around web-based tools and new learning environments has resulted in approaches that capitalize on student choice and personalization of learning. Across the district, there are bring your own device pilots emerging as well as one to one iPad and Google Chromebook classrooms being sponsored by grants or Parent Teacher Organizations. Ultimately, district officials attribute these changes to purposefully creating the conditions for change to occur.
Now as district officials face another summer, old concerns about the “summer slide in learning” are less of a concern. Staff members will be utilizing Schoology to post summer homework including summer readings, assignments and links to dynamic and engaging content.
Elementary media specialists are working with students this spring to identify books at students’ Lexile levels, in students’ preferred genres and having students add these books to a personal reading list in myON. Students will now go home for the summer with a personalized list of books and a reading goal.