Small Learning Communities
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Small Learning Communities






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Small Learning Communities Small Learning Communities Presentation Transcript

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