International Center for  Leadership in Education Creating  Small Learning Communities
“ Learning is about constructing relationships in which students connect with teachers or subjects. Small schools foster t...
SMALL LEARNING COMMUNITIES
Bigger isn’t always better!
Components of Successful School Reform 6. Create  multiple pathways  to rigor and relevance
Parent Survey Focusing on Characteristics of  Successful Schools
<ul><li>School within a School </li></ul><ul><li>Clusters of Students  </li></ul><ul><li>Organized around Areas of Interes...
Small Learning  Communities <ul><li>School-within-A School </li></ul><ul><li>House Plans </li></ul><ul><li>Freshman Academ...
<ul><li>School-Within-A School </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Small, Autonomous Program </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Groups Students ...
<ul><li>House Plans </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Groups Students Across Grade Levels or by Grade Levels </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><l...
<ul><li>Freshman Academy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Eases Transition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Own Academy/House Setting </li>...
<ul><li>Magnet School </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Public Choice—Encourages Cultural Diversity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Separat...
<ul><li>Career Academies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Broadly Defined Career Themes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Integrated Learnin...
CAREER ACADEMIES <ul><li>Business & Finance </li></ul><ul><li>Information Technology </li></ul><ul><li>Health Services </l...
CAREER ACADEMIES <ul><li>Arts Academy </li></ul><ul><li>Information Technology Academy </li></ul><ul><li>Health Science Ac...
 
Readiness Survey Need for Small Learning Communities Checklist
Small Learning  Communities <ul><li>Increased attendance </li></ul><ul><li>Increased student achievement </li></ul><ul><li...
Small Learning  Communities <ul><li>Lack of specific goals </li></ul><ul><li>Failure to address literacy </li></ul><ul><li...
Small Learning  Communities <ul><li>People </li></ul><ul><li>Teaching and Learning </li></ul><ul><li>Campus-Wide </li></ul...
<ul><li>Autonomy </li></ul><ul><li>Identify </li></ul><ul><li>Personalization </li></ul>Small Learning  Communities Key El...
<ul><li>Autonomy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Space…Separateness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Schedule…Flexible </li></ul></ul><ul>...
<ul><li>Identity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Vision/Mission </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Thematic Focus </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li...
<ul><li>Personalization </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Student Involvement--Opportunity for All </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Teacher ...
<ul><li>Instructional Focus </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on Student Learning, “Academic Press” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>H...
Curriculum <ul><li>Create a school focus </li></ul><ul><li>Strive for higher levels of Rigor and Relevance </li></ul><ul><...
Integration Interdisciplinary
Performances <ul><li>Work-based </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge-based  </li></ul><ul><li>Literacy-based </li></ul><ul><li>Inqu...
Work-based Units <ul><li>Food preparation </li></ul><ul><li>Construction </li></ul><ul><li>Human services </li></ul><ul><l...
Knowledge-based Units <ul><li>Economic Cycles </li></ul><ul><li>Ecology Issue </li></ul><ul><li>History of Technology </li...
Literacy-based Projects <ul><li>Literature Depicting Work/Economy </li></ul><ul><li>Exploring Life’s Work: Specific Career...
Inquiry-based Units <ul><li>Best Products Analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Community of the Future </li></ul><ul><li>Genetic Cod...
Projects-based Units <ul><li>Construction </li></ul><ul><li>Models </li></ul><ul><li>Robotics </li></ul><ul><li>Industrial...
Planning Steps <ul><li>Definition of Theme </li></ul><ul><li>Brainstorm Possible Performance </li></ul><ul><li>Student Wor...
Theme-based Planning Tool Theme Math Bus ELA F&CS Art Sci Student Work Student Work Student Work Student Work Student Work...
Theme-based Planning Tool Theme Standards Standards Standards Math Bus ELA F&CS Art Sci Student Work Student Work Student ...
 
 
Curriculum   Readiness for Interdisciplinary Instruction Checklist
Curriculum   Interdisciplinary Worksheets
Activity—Designing Interdisciplinary Instruction  Interdisciplinary Planning Wheel
<ul><li>Accountability </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Detailed Planning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Multiple Forms of Assessment </l...
<ul><li>Alternative Scheduling </li></ul><ul><li>Freshman Transition Activities </li></ul><ul><li>Student/Teacher Advisory...
<ul><li>Goal Setting </li></ul><ul><li>Parent/ Community Discussion </li></ul><ul><li>Selection of Structure </li></ul><ul...
<ul><li>Personalized Learning </li></ul><ul><li>Organized around Student </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher with Students—4 Years <...
<ul><li>Found in Nearly All the Schools </li></ul><ul><li>Provides the Platform to Focus Instruction around Student’s Inte...
<ul><li>Informal—Band, Student Leadership, Arts, Hip Hop University </li></ul><ul><li>Other—World Languages, Finance, Tech...
<ul><li>9 th  Grade </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Looks Different </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not Remediation—Enrichment </li></ul>...
<ul><li>Great Attention and Resources are Focused on 9 th  graders </li></ul><ul><li>Many Have a 9 th  Grade Academy or Fr...
<ul><li>12 th  Grade </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Motivation Same—Poor/Performing Students </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Transition ...
<ul><ul><li>12 th  Graders Receive Special Attention </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Students Who Are Adequately Prepared May C...
PLANNING Planning Checklist
SLC Resource Kit Table of Contents Aspirations, Issues and Opportunities Staff, Students and Stakeholders Teaching and Lea...
SLC Resource Kit Checklists Forms Handouts Q’s and A’s Resources/Networks
“ Experience and research make it very clear that school size does matter-- but they also make it clear that ‘small’ is no...
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Small Learning Communities

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Small Learning Communities

  1. 1. International Center for Leadership in Education Creating Small Learning Communities
  2. 2. “ Learning is about constructing relationships in which students connect with teachers or subjects. Small schools foster the personalization strategies to support those relationships. ” Tom VanderArk
  3. 3. SMALL LEARNING COMMUNITIES
  4. 4. Bigger isn’t always better!
  5. 5. Components of Successful School Reform 6. Create multiple pathways to rigor and relevance
  6. 6. Parent Survey Focusing on Characteristics of Successful Schools
  7. 7. <ul><li>School within a School </li></ul><ul><li>Clusters of Students </li></ul><ul><li>Organized around Areas of Interest </li></ul><ul><li>Students with Same Group of Teachers </li></ul>Small Learning Communities What
  8. 8. Small Learning Communities <ul><li>School-within-A School </li></ul><ul><li>House Plans </li></ul><ul><li>Freshman Academy </li></ul><ul><li>Magnet Schools </li></ul><ul><li>Academies </li></ul>Types
  9. 9. <ul><li>School-Within-A School </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Small, Autonomous Program </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Groups Students & Teachers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increases Student Support </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Self-governing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Own Physical Space </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Curricular Theme/Set Combination of Courses </li></ul></ul>Small Learning Communities Structure
  10. 10. <ul><li>House Plans </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Groups Students Across Grade Levels or by Grade Levels </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Students Stay w/House Members and Teachers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Personalized School Experience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Limited Effect on Curriculum and Instruction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Governed by School Principal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>May/May Not Have Own Space </li></ul></ul>Small Learning Communities Structure
  11. 11. <ul><li>Freshman Academy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Eases Transition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Own Academy/House Setting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Same Staff </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Team Teaching—Core Areas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Extra Support Services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mentoring </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Career Exploration </li></ul></ul>Small Learning Communities Structure
  12. 12. <ul><li>Magnet School </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Public Choice—Encourages Cultural Diversity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Separate Location </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Transition Activities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Additional Admission Requirements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus—Students’ Interests and Academic Strengths </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Governance…Autonomous or Larger School Leadership </li></ul></ul>Small Learning Communities Structure
  13. 13. <ul><li>Career Academies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Broadly Defined Career Themes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Integrated Learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Work-based Learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Real-world Applications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>High Academic Standards with Career Applications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Business Partnerships </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Governance—Overseen by Larger School’s Principal </li></ul></ul>Small Learning Communities Structure
  14. 14. CAREER ACADEMIES <ul><li>Business & Finance </li></ul><ul><li>Information Technology </li></ul><ul><li>Health Services </li></ul><ul><li>Construction, Engineering & Design </li></ul><ul><li>Environmental Technology </li></ul><ul><li>Arts & Communication </li></ul>Typical Themes <ul><li>Law, Government and Public Service </li></ul><ul><li>Media, Design and Production </li></ul><ul><li>Travel, Tourism and Hospitality </li></ul><ul><li>Human Services </li></ul><ul><li>Math, Science, Technology </li></ul><ul><li>Biotechnology </li></ul>
  15. 15. CAREER ACADEMIES <ul><li>Arts Academy </li></ul><ul><li>Information Technology Academy </li></ul><ul><li>Health Science Academy </li></ul>Four- Year Typical Sequences
  16. 17. Readiness Survey Need for Small Learning Communities Checklist
  17. 18. Small Learning Communities <ul><li>Increased attendance </li></ul><ul><li>Increased student achievement </li></ul><ul><li>Increased student participation </li></ul><ul><li>Increased student and parent satisfaction </li></ul><ul><li>Increased positive student behavior </li></ul><ul><li>Greater focus on student interests and aptitudes </li></ul><ul><li>Relevancy leads to high achievement </li></ul>Research
  18. 19. Small Learning Communities <ul><li>Lack of specific goals </li></ul><ul><li>Failure to address literacy </li></ul><ul><li>Unchanged curriculum and instruction </li></ul><ul><li>Too much emphasis on belonging </li></ul><ul><li>Ignoring staff concerns </li></ul><ul><li>Uninformed student assignment </li></ul><ul><li>Timing </li></ul><ul><li>Focusing only on teachers </li></ul>Unsolved Opportunities
  19. 20. Small Learning Communities <ul><li>People </li></ul><ul><li>Teaching and Learning </li></ul><ul><li>Campus-Wide </li></ul>Issues
  20. 21. <ul><li>Autonomy </li></ul><ul><li>Identify </li></ul><ul><li>Personalization </li></ul>Small Learning Communities Key Elements
  21. 22. <ul><li>Autonomy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Space…Separateness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Schedule…Flexible </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Budget </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Curriculum/Instruction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Personnel </li></ul></ul>Small Learning Communities Key Elements
  22. 23. <ul><li>Identity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Vision/Mission </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Thematic Focus </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Self-selection of Teachers & Students </li></ul></ul>Small Learning Communities Key Elements
  23. 24. <ul><li>Personalization </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Student Involvement--Opportunity for All </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Teacher Involvement/Continuity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Parent and Community Involvement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Support through Student-Teacher Relationships </li></ul></ul>Key Elements Small Learning Communities
  24. 25. <ul><li>Instructional Focus </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on Student Learning, “Academic Press” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Heterogeneous Grouping </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Professional Development & Collaboration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Integrated Curriculum/Teaching Teams, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>No Subject Area Boundaries, Thematic </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Focus, Aligned across Grade Levels </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Large Repertoire of Instructional Strategies </li></ul></ul>Key Elements Small Learning Communities
  25. 26. Curriculum <ul><li>Create a school focus </li></ul><ul><li>Strive for higher levels of Rigor and Relevance </li></ul><ul><li>Interdisciplinary </li></ul><ul><li>Differentiation </li></ul>
  26. 27. Integration Interdisciplinary
  27. 28. Performances <ul><li>Work-based </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge-based </li></ul><ul><li>Literacy-based </li></ul><ul><li>Inquiry-based </li></ul><ul><li>Project-based </li></ul>Interdisciplinary Instruction
  28. 29. Work-based Units <ul><li>Food preparation </li></ul><ul><li>Construction </li></ul><ul><li>Human services </li></ul><ul><li>Equipment operation </li></ul><ul><li>Plant production </li></ul>Interdisciplinary Instruction
  29. 30. Knowledge-based Units <ul><li>Economic Cycles </li></ul><ul><li>Ecology Issue </li></ul><ul><li>History of Technology </li></ul><ul><li>Industrial Revolution </li></ul>Interdisciplinary Instruction
  30. 31. Literacy-based Projects <ul><li>Literature Depicting Work/Economy </li></ul><ul><li>Exploring Life’s Work: Specific Careers </li></ul><ul><li>Biographies of Industrial Leaders </li></ul>Interdisciplinary Instruction
  31. 32. Inquiry-based Units <ul><li>Best Products Analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Community of the Future </li></ul><ul><li>Genetic Code </li></ul><ul><li>Local Ecology Issue </li></ul>Interdisciplinary Instruction
  32. 33. Projects-based Units <ul><li>Construction </li></ul><ul><li>Models </li></ul><ul><li>Robotics </li></ul><ul><li>Industrial Design </li></ul><ul><li>Plant or Animal Projects </li></ul>Interdisciplinary Instruction
  33. 34. Planning Steps <ul><li>Definition of Theme </li></ul><ul><li>Brainstorm Possible Performance </li></ul><ul><li>Student Work </li></ul><ul><li>Standards and Priority </li></ul><ul><li>Levels of Expected Knowledge and Performance </li></ul><ul><li>Content Knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Assessment and Instruction </li></ul>Instructional Planning
  34. 35. Theme-based Planning Tool Theme Math Bus ELA F&CS Art Sci Student Work Student Work Student Work Student Work Student Work Student Work
  35. 36. Theme-based Planning Tool Theme Standards Standards Standards Math Bus ELA F&CS Art Sci Student Work Student Work Student Work Student Work Student Work Student Work
  36. 39. Curriculum Readiness for Interdisciplinary Instruction Checklist
  37. 40. Curriculum Interdisciplinary Worksheets
  38. 41. Activity—Designing Interdisciplinary Instruction Interdisciplinary Planning Wheel
  39. 42. <ul><li>Accountability </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Detailed Planning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Multiple Forms of Assessment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Total Implementation of Key Small Learning Community Elements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Networking with Other Small Learning Communities </li></ul></ul>Key Elements Small Learning Communities
  40. 43. <ul><li>Alternative Scheduling </li></ul><ul><li>Freshman Transition Activities </li></ul><ul><li>Student/Teacher Advisory System </li></ul><ul><li>Adult Advocacy System </li></ul><ul><li>Parent Outreach </li></ul><ul><li>Academic Teaming </li></ul>Common Strategies Small Learning Communities
  41. 44. <ul><li>Goal Setting </li></ul><ul><li>Parent/ Community Discussion </li></ul><ul><li>Selection of Structure </li></ul><ul><li>Staffing </li></ul><ul><li>Facility Changes </li></ul><ul><li>Student Selection </li></ul><ul><li>Curriculum </li></ul><ul><li>Schedule </li></ul><ul><li>Budgeting </li></ul><ul><li>Implementation Timeline </li></ul><ul><li>Implementation Teams </li></ul>Development Steps Small Learning Communities
  42. 45. <ul><li>Personalized Learning </li></ul><ul><li>Organized around Student </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher with Students—4 Years </li></ul><ul><li>Time to Talk </li></ul><ul><li>Time to Integrate </li></ul><ul><li>Types: Career Academies, Houses, 9 th Grade, Magnet Schools </li></ul>From Successful Practices Study Small Learning Communities
  43. 46. <ul><li>Found in Nearly All the Schools </li></ul><ul><li>Provides the Platform to Focus Instruction around Student’s Interests, Learning Style, and Aptitude </li></ul><ul><li>Permits Educators to Develop a Personal Relationship over Time with Students </li></ul><ul><li>Personal Relations Prove to Be Essential in Motivating and Nurturing Students </li></ul><ul><li>27 of 30—Career Academies—Primary Delivery System </li></ul>From Successful Practices Study Small Learning Communities
  44. 47. <ul><li>Informal—Band, Student Leadership, Arts, Hip Hop University </li></ul><ul><li>Other—World Languages, Finance, Technology, SCOPE (Student-Centered Opportunity for Personalized Education </li></ul><ul><li>Great Networks and Resources </li></ul>From Successful Practices Study Small Learning Communities
  45. 48. <ul><li>9 th Grade </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Looks Different </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not Remediation—Enrichment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Catch Up—Collapse Soph., Jr. Years </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No Credit </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Train Staff—Reading, Math, Science </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Believe in Themselves—Learn Culture of the School </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Study Skills Course </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Advisement Period </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Upperclassmen—Mentors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Separate Location </li></ul></ul>From Successful Practices Study Small Learning Communities
  46. 49. <ul><li>Great Attention and Resources are Focused on 9 th graders </li></ul><ul><li>Many Have a 9 th Grade Academy or Freshmen House </li></ul><ul><li>Students Lacking Adequate Academic Skills are Enrolled in Enrichment Courses Designed Around Student’s Interest Rather Than Remediation </li></ul><ul><li>Dramatic Improvement by End of 9 th Grade </li></ul><ul><li>Students Indoctrinated into the Culture of High Expectations and Caring Adults </li></ul>From Successful Practices Study—9 th Gr. Small Learning Communities
  47. 50. <ul><li>12 th Grade </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Motivation Same—Poor/Performing Students </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Transition 9 th – Out, 12 th </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Senior Projects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Community Service Programs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Work-based Programs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Articulation Programs with Post-secondary </li></ul></ul>From Successful Practices Study Small Learning Communities
  48. 51. <ul><ul><li>12 th Graders Receive Special Attention </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Students Who Are Adequately Prepared May Collapse Four-year Program into Three Years </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Strong Articulation with Higher Education Allows Students to Earn up to 30 College Credits </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Senior Projects </li></ul></ul>From Successful Practices Study—12th Gr. Small Learning Communities
  49. 52. PLANNING Planning Checklist
  50. 53. SLC Resource Kit Table of Contents Aspirations, Issues and Opportunities Staff, Students and Stakeholders Teaching and Learning Logistics Learning from Others
  51. 54. SLC Resource Kit Checklists Forms Handouts Q’s and A’s Resources/Networks
  52. 55. “ Experience and research make it very clear that school size does matter-- but they also make it clear that ‘small’ is no silver bullet.” Michelle Fine and Janice Somerville

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