Virtual School Meanderings

October 6, 2018

Upcoming Events & Happy World Teachers’ Day!

A newsletter from yesterday’s inbox.

View this email in your browser
Follow us on Twitter!
Like us on Facebook!
Email Us!

You are cordially invited to the official launch party of Highlander Institute’s book entitled Pathways to Personalization, written by Shawn Rubin and Cathy Sanford!

Thursday, November 8, 2018
6:00-9:00pm at Hope Artiste Village
999 Main Street
Pawtucket, RI 02860
Join us to celebrate Shawn & Cathy as they reach this incredible milestone. The evening will include dinner, cash bar, live band, and an opportunity to meet and chat with the authors. Each attendee will receive their own copy of Pathways to Personalization. We truly hope you enjoy reading this book and find it meaningful and useful for your work. We would love to hear your thoughts and feedback — please feel free to give us a testimonial or review after you finish the book.

Be sure to buy your ticket now before the event sells out. Individual tickets are $50 each. You may also purchase a table for a group of 10 people for $400.


Conference Appearances

The Highlander Institute team is hitting the road this month! Conference season is upon us and we’re excited to share our key takeaways from classroom, building, and district level implementations of personalized learning. We’ll be presenting sessions and sharing our new book at the conferences below and are looking forward to connecting with you at these events.

Jobs for the Future 

Student-Centered Learning Research Collaborative 2018 Convening
October 10-11 at the Providence Biltmore Hotel, Providence, RI
Facilitators: Shawn Rubin & Cathy Sanford
Workshop: Wednesday, October 10 from 10:00am-12:00pm

2018 Fall Conference
October 18-19 at Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, MA

Facilitators: Shawn Rubin & Cathy Sanford
Workshops: Thursday, October 18 from 1:30-2:25pm & Friday, October 19 from 10:15-11:10am

2018 Symposium
October 21-24 at Music City Center, Nashville, TN
Multiple Events

Empowering Teacher Leaders as Change Agents
Facilitated by Maeve Murray & Meg Smallidge
Monday, October 22 from 10:00am-11:00am

Meet the Expert: Shawn Rubin
Monday, October 22 from 2:15-3:15pm

Pathways to Personalization Book Signing
Monday, October 22 from 3:15-4:00pm

Convergence of Project-Based, Competency-Based, and Deeper Learning
Panel speakers Michael Klein & Mike Miele
Monday, October 22 from 4:00-5:00pm

Let’s Blend & Get Personal Welcome Party
Co-hosted by The Learning Accelerator, Highlander Institute, & Transforming Learning Collaborative
Tuesday, October 23 from 5:30-7:00pm
Nashville Underground

Pathways to Personalization: A Framework Approach to Designing and Scaling Blended and Personalized Learning
Facilitated by Shawn Rubin & Cathy Sanford
Wednesday, October 24 from 8:30-10:30am

3 Ways District Cross-Collaboration Can Support Teachers

By our Fuse RI Fellowship Program Manager, Maeve Murray
Generally in education, we’ve found that initiatives and solutions can be siloed within one specific district. In a place the size of Rhode Island, it may surprise you that there are 66 individual local education agencies (LEAs), including traditional public districts and charter networks. It’s not uncommon for neighbors to confront the same challenges, with each still operating in a communications vacuum. One Fellowship aims to break down these silos, encouraging discussion, resource sharing, and deep collaboration between LEAs.
Keep Reading on the BLU Blog

Upcoming Events

5th Annual
Fuse RI Induction Ceremony

Thursday, October 18, 2018, 6:00-9:00pm
Providence Biltmore Hotel
Providence, RI
Each year, Highlander Institute assembles a “dream team” of Fuse RI Fellows. Please join us in officially welcoming our 27 Cohort 5 Fellows to the growing Fuse community. The evening will include dinner, cash bar, induction of our new fellows, speakers, and awards. Come network and celebrate these amazing educators and learn more about the great work happening across our state.

Involvement in the Community: Opportunities for Young Women in Providence

It’s time for change and we want your thoughts! Join GATE RI on Sunday, November 11th from 9:00am-2:00pm for a day of collaboration and impact. Any girl from a Providence public or charter school is invited to this free event to help change the Providence community. Bring yourself, your ideas, and your passions. Have your solutions heard by our community panel members, meet new people and even win some prizes in our raffle!

Featuring keynote speaker and panelist, Kiara Butler of Diversity Talks.

More Info Here

Please feel free to contact us directly, visit our website, or connect with us on social media!
Visit Our Website
Copyright © 2018 Highlander Institute, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you registered to receive newsletters.

Our mailing address is:

Highlander Institute

166 Valley Street
Building 3L, Suite 101

ProvidenceRI 02909

September 22, 2018

You’re Invited To Our Book Release Party!

And this weekly item from the Highlander Institute.

View this email in your browser
Purchase Ticket
Copyright © 2018 Highlander Institute, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you registered to receive newsletters.

Our mailing address is:

Highlander Institute

September 20, 2018

[WEBINAR] Our K-12 Blended Learning Teacher Readiness Instrument 💻

Note this webinar tomorrow.

K-12 Blended Learning Teacher Readiness Instrument

Developing a survey instrument for evaluating K-12 blended teacher readiness
Webinar — Live Friday, September 21 @ 3:30 p.m. EST

Blended teaching — which combines online and in-person instruction — is becoming more commonplace in K-12 schools. In this webinar, we share the results of a two-year long project to develop an instrument for evaluating K-12 blended teacher readiness. We provide list of core competencies for blended teaching, along with resources can be used in professional development for in-service or pre-service teachers..

This webinar will be hosted on Zoom — so please use the live chat feature to ask questions and leave comments.

Learn More

Facebook   Twitter   LinkedIn

Michigan Virtual • 3101 Technology Blvd. Suite G • Lansing, Michigan 48910

September 15, 2018

Here’s What’s Happening…

A newsletter from yesterday’s inbox.

View this email in your browser
Follow us on Twitter!
Like us on Facebook!
Email Us!

Join us for the First PBL RI September Meet Up of the School Year

Are you an innovative educator looking to design meaningful learning experiences for students?
Are you an educator interested in Project Based Learning and not sure where to start?
Are you an administrator interested in integrating more PBL tasks into your school community?

Join us on Wednesday, September 19th from 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm for Project-Based Learning Rhode Island. This year we will be kicking off the school year with a panel discussion focused around getting started with PBL. Several educators from around the state will share tips, stories, resources, and strategies to help teachers ease into PBL without getting overwhelmed. We will also be facilitating a roundtable discussion about getting PBL up and running in a school and classroom. The most important part? FREE wine and food for all attendees! Who could ask for a better night?

Register Here!

“Taking the Lead to Support Innovative Instructional Models” Course

This course is designed for educator and instructional leaders who are supporting teachers as the implement innovative instructional models. Highlander Institute consultants do this work in schools nationwide using a successful model that includes design thinking and an intentional focus on instructional strategies and student-centered classroom practices. From building context to identifying coaching pathways, this course will provide a process for schools and districts to build capacity and leverage local talent to grow the work of personalized learning. For more information, please contact Kara O’Connell, Director of Implementation, at
Course Cost: $250
Course Launch: September 20, 2018
Facilitated by: Highlander Institute
Register Here

A Look at Lighthouse Schools and Learning Tour

As students begin the new school year, the RI Office of Innovation would like to highlight some of the amazing learning happening at our three Lighthouse Schools. These are local examples of a personalized-instruction approach to better serve students. Take a look to see Captain Isaac Paine Elementary School’s blended approach to differentiation; Barrington Middle School’s project-based learning focus; and 360 High School’s commitment to building student voice and agency.

Lighthouse Schools often open their doors to show what’s possible for teaching and learning in the 21st century. Join the RI Office of Innovation and New England Basecamp for a Learning Tour on September 25. See how schools are shifting to a more personalized model, visit classrooms, and talk to students, teachers, and administrators. Space is limited, so sign up now! Lunch provided for all attendees.

For more information, contact Maureen Dizon, For a calendar of all the innovative happenings in education across the state in September, visit

Register Here
• Learn about a Framework to help school leaders and teacher teams design and implement Blended & Personalized Learning initiatives based on local needs and interests.

• Hear an update on Fuse MA directly from a panel of participating TEC Assistant Superintendents, Technology Directors & Fuse Fellows.

• Engage in a rich discussion and activities led by Highlander Institute staff exploring change management, implementation strategies and scaling this work.

MEETING TIME: 8:30 – 10:30AM


Announcing the Winners of the 2018 Lawrence W. O’Toole Awards!

The Nellie Mae Education Foundation is thrilled to announce the winners of the 2018 Lawrence W. O’Toole Leadership Awards. These 13 teachers from throughout New England are advancing student-centered approaches to learning throughout the region and advocating for student-centered approaches that address issues of inequities within their classrooms, schools and districts. Each will receive a grant of $15,000 to help them continue to make an impact on the lives of New England students through student-centered learning.
Highlander Institute is proud to announce the three Rhode Island recipients:
• Erica DeVoe, Westerly High School, Fuse Fellow Cohort 2
• Elizabeth Russillo, Smithfield High School, Fuse Fellow Cohort 3
• Rebecca Siddons, The MET, Providence

Highlander Institute in the News

Seeking a Secondary-Level Certified Math Teacher

Nowell Leadership Academy has an opening for a secondary-level certified math teacher for their Central Falls campus.  This is an awesome opportunity for a forward-thinking educator to join a small team of exceptional teachers working with the most inspiring young people around.

FREE Yoga for Educators

Got questions?  Reach out!

Don’t Miss These Events for Education Innovation Month!

Please feel free to contact us directly, visit our website, or connect with us on social media!
Visit Our Website
Copyright © 2018 Highlander Institute, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you registered to receive newsletters.

Our mailing address is:

Highlander Institute

September 12, 2018

Last Free “Helping Students Process Trauma” Session

A final item from yesterday’s inbox…

View this email in your browser
Follow us on Twitter!
Like us on Facebook!
Email Us!

Last Call For
“Helping Students Process Trauma”
Wednesday, September 12th from 3:00 – 4:30pm

At the Highlander Institute we were devastated to learn of the shooting incident that occurred outside of Providence Career and Technical Academy on Wednesday, September 5th. Many of the staff members at the Institute spend their days in classrooms with Providence students and teachers. As community partners, we wanted to make sure we could offer support in the aftermath of this senseless tragedy.

Kyle Quadros, an Educational Strategies Specialist with expertise in the area of social emotional learning and trauma-informed teaching, will be at the Highlander Institute for three sessions next week that will be open to all. The session, entitled Helping Students Process Trauma, will be a facilitated discussion about how to support students as they process traumatic experiences. With humility and awareness that we, as educators, are not mental health professionals, our hope is to equip educators with resources on how to best support our students.

For those of you who are unable to attend one of these sessions, we would like to share some context and two tangible strategies to help facilitate discussion among your students.

“Paramount to psychological trauma is the conflict between the drive to deny horrible events and the need to proclaim them aloud. Survivors of tragedies often share what happened in a highly emotional, contradictory, and fragmented manner. Survivors — in this case, students — often experience complicated and sometimes uncanny alterations of consciousness, known as dissociation. However, when the truth is finally recognized, survivors can begin their recovery.

The fundamental stages of recovery are establishing safety, reconstructing the trauma story, and restoring the connection between survivors and the community. Here are a couple of strategies we can use to talk to kids in order to start that process:

Name it to Tame It

If the student can start retelling the story, this will help in effectively integrating their left and right brain. Utilizing their left brains by putting the details in order and the experience into words, and then bringing in their right brains by revisiting the emotions they felt in response to the experience allows students to start making sense of what happened. This will also help establish safety and restore connection between the students, their school, and the Providence community by processing this as an atrocity which doesn’t have to be accepted as their permanent reality.

Remote of the Mind: Replaying Memories

Again, one of the most effective ways to promote brain integration, which will lead to effectively processing what happened, is to tell stories. Students will most likely be feeling the effects of the trauma they suffered, and may not be ready to recall the entire experience. In this case, you can introduce them to the “internal DVD player,” which comes with a remote control that lets them replay, pause, rewind, and fast-forward parts of the event. This can make the storytelling process much less scary by offering students some control over what they deal with and when, allowing them to interact with the memory at their own pace. ” Adapted from “Trauma and Recovery” by Judith Herman, M.D. New York: Basic Books, 1992

Our goal is to help students process and start to understand what happened so they can grieve, restore connection, and reconcile their thoughts and feelings. We don’t need to have answers for them, we just need to listen.

Highlander Institute Staff

Please feel free to contact us directly, visit our website, or connect with us on social media!
Visit Our Website
Copyright © 2018 Highlander Institute, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you registered to receive newsletters.

Our mailing address is:

Highlander Institute

Next Page »

Blog at