Goal One of our 2018 strategic plan recognizes the need for more personalized learning to maximize student potential. As a result, in 2013 we received a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to take a deeper dive into CMS’s strategic plan. We created a system design team that consisted of many different stakeholders. The system design team completed a needs assessment and started vetting out what personalized learning should look like in CMS.
The team researched what personalized learning looked like in other districts through visitations and interviews, along with looking at the best practices researchers were discussing. Through this research we realized that this was going to have to be a very intentional instructional shift. We learned this was going to be hard for CMS, as we have been a managed instruction district. We understand we need to make a shift in the classroom to a teacher facilitated and student ownership model. To do this, we need to be purposeful and roll this out so it is not looked at as “another thing”. We created an implementation, change management and a resource plan.
Our goal for this initiative is to help support schools in implementing personalization in order to grow achievement through innovation. Coaching support is important for implementation, which is why we created a Personalized Learning Institute. During this Personalized Learning Institute, teachers, principals and support staff are actively learning together about personalized learning and how they can design it for their school based on the foundation cornerstones of whole child, student ownership, mastery learning and paces, playlists and pathways. Each school completes an action plan, risk management assessment and a professional development plan within their personalized learning design teams.
Throughout the year the schools receive intensive professional learning experience customized for their school’s needs along with having a Personalized Learning Coach. We also offer a Personalized Learning Course Catalog that is filled with different professional development sessions by cornerstone.