Editor’s Note: Inspired by Sarah Bertucci, our professional development associate, Eagle Rock is leading five schools through a yearlong project with the objective of improving equity at those schools by means of independent projects. Last summer, Growing Equity Together was launched with representatives from all five schools gathering on at our campus in Estes Park, Colo., to make plans. Today’s post is an update from Winooski Middle/High School — one of the five schools involved in this innovative program.
From Lindsey Cox, iLab Humanities Teacher — Winooski Middle/High School
As one of the schools participating in The Growing Equity Together Project, Winooski Middle/High School is nearing the end of its first continuous improvement cycle aimed at supporting students in Grades 6 through 9.
The objective is to develop the confidence these youngsters need to be successful when working on personalized learning projects.
Winooski is a small town in northwest Vermont that also serves as one of our nation’s refugee resettlement locations. Our middle/high school has about 380 students in grades 6-12 with about 30 percent being English Language Learning (ELL) students and 70 percent qualifying for free or reduced lunch status.
Over the past four years, Winooski has benefited from being part of a student-centered learning grant in collaboration with Burlington High School in Burlington, Vt., with funding from the Nellie Mae Education Foundation.
The grant effort, known as the Partnership for Change, has supported educators in shifting their teaching and learning systems to be more student-centered by being more personalized and proficiency-based. Simultaneously, legislation passed in 2013 known as (PDF) Act 77: The Flexible Pathways Bill (PDF), mandates a progressive educational agenda for the entire state because it requires all students — beginning with the class of 2020 — to graduate based on proficiencies instead of Carnegie units.
Act 77 also requires students in grades 7 through 12 to Continue reading…