Virtual School Meanderings

June 15, 2019

Fuse Fest Highlights, New Report, & Summer Book Club

A newsletter from yesterday’s inbox.

06/14/2019
View this email in your browser
Follow us on Twitter!
Like us on Facebook!
Email Us!

What’s Inside?

Read through this newsletter for features on:
  • Highlights from Fuse Fest 2019
  • “5 Years of Fuse RI” Report from Education Development Center
  • Summer Pathways to Personalization Book Club

Highlights from Our Fourth Annual Fuse Fest

Last night, we recognized the hard work and passion of our graduating fellows from three Fuse Fellowship programs. We welcomed the following groups to the growing alumni network:

A special thank you to Rhode Island’s new Commissioner of Education, Angélica Infante-Green, for kicking off the event with remarks. We’d also like to thank Dawne Pezzuco and her team from Roger Williams University for their consistent partnership and support of the Fuse RI Fellows through their awarding of certificates and credits.

Clockwise from top left: Fuse MA Fellows from Cohort 1; the team from Fuse RIC; Fuse RI Fellows from Cohort 4; Fuse Fest celebration from above 
Fuse RI Class Speaker Crystal Monteiro addresses her fellow Cohort 4 graduates with a speech celebrating the pioneering nature of Fuse in the field of blended & personalized learning
Fuse MA Class Speaker Ken Toomey models his speech as a playlist in the style of the fellows’ monthly mission assignments, emphasizing the importance of gratitude and comfort with uncertainty

“Five Years of Fuse RI” Report
from Education Development Center

The team at Education Development Center (EDC), led by Jessica Bailey, has spent the past six months interviewing stakeholders and reviewing data from Fuse RI’s Cohort 1-5 to compile an external evaluation report on the program’s impact and learnings.

When we first set out with Fuse, we envisioned it as a five year program. The name Fuse alludes to the intended “sparking” of excitement around blended and personalized learning that comes from our Fellows and their coaching in partner districts. Now in our fifth year, it seemed appropriate to look back and reflect on all we’ve learned, through the help of external researchers. As an open source organization, we felt it was our responsibility to share these insights with the public to inspire new thinking around perfecting the model and adapting it to local needs. We hope you find this report valuable. Please let us know if you improve on the Fuse model in your own community and if we can be of service in any way.

Read the Report

Introducing the Pathways to Personalization
Summer Book Club! 

Join our very own Mike Miele for a series of 3 book club conversations inspired by the book Pathways to Personalization: A Framework for School ChangeRelax over a cup of tea/coffee at Riffraff bookstore as we chat about strategies for building a compelling vision, how to identify focus areas, and the types of teachers most primed for this work. This book club is for anyone who wants to make change in their school or district setting. We welcome individuals with a variety of roles, from teachers to coaches, school/district leaders to parents and community members!

The first 5 people to sign up will be entered into a raffle to receive a FREE COPY of the Pathways to Personalization book.

The meetings in this series will take place on:

  • Session #1: Thursday, July 18 from 11:00AM-12:00PM
  • Session #2: Thursday, August 22 from 11:00AM-12:00PM
  • Session #3: Thursday, September 26 from 4:00PM-5:00PM
Sign Up for Session #1
Sign Up for Session #2
Sign Up for Session #3
Please feel free to contact us directly, visit our website, or connect with us on social media!
Visit Our Website
Copyright © 2019 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

June 8, 2019

Celebrate With Us At Next Week’s Fuse Fest

A newsletter from a US-based blended learning advocacy organization.

06/07/2019
View this email in your browser
Follow us on Twitter!
Like us on Facebook!
Email Us!

Fuse Fest 2019 is Next Week

Fuse Fest 2019 is the fourth annual graduation ceremony and celebration of our Fuse community. The event will showcase the Cohort 4 Fellows from RI, Cohort 1 Fellows from MA, Cohort 1 professors from Fuse RIC, members of Fuse Classroom and Fuse Leader, and the partner districts whose involvement makes this possible!

All educators, leaders, family members, friends, colleagues, and community members are welcome to attend. Fuse Fest is a night of accolades, accomplishments, food, drink, and fun. We hope you can celebrate with us on June 13 from 4:30-7:00pm at the Tech Collective.

Register Here for Free

Welcome Our Summer Intern, Joey Reindl

Joey joined us this week as an undergraduate education studies major from Brown University. He’ll be working with the Highlander Institute team through early August to support data projects and resource tagging. He’s looking forward to learning more about blended & personalized learning and its intersection with broader education policy issues in our state. If you see him in our office this summer, be sure to say hello!

Perspectives and Promising Practices in Personalized Learning

You are invited to join TeachPlus this Saturday, June 8th at the MET School, a renowned hub of innovative teaching and learning to learn with fellow classroom educators, students, parents and community organizations from across RI and MA about promising practices in creating personalized, student-centered learning environments in our classrooms, schools and districts, for students ranging from pre-K to post secondary education. Formal agenda to follow but will include keynote, workshops and self-guided break out sessions. Light breakfast and lunch provided.Speakers include:

  • Dennis “Doc” Littky, Co-founder and co-director of The Big Picture Company, The Met School and College Unbound
  • Nancy Diaz Bain, Co-Director of The Met High School
  • Shawn Rubin of Highlander Institute and co-author of Pathways to Personalization
  • Kyle Quadros of Highlander Institute will lead a workshop on Addressing Trauma in the Classroom
RSVP Here

RISTE Summer Institute 2019

Join educators to share and learn digital skills to personalize learning for your students. Sessions will be facilitated by educators implementing technology in their classrooms. Sessions are generated based on participant interest/need and may include the following topics:

July 15-17
North Kingstown
High School

July 24-26
Johnston

Ferri Middle School

More Information
Please feel free to contact us directly, visit our website, or connect with us on social media!
Visit Our Website
Copyright © 2019 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

June 1, 2019

Kicking off June with Highlander Institute

Another newsletter from yesterday’s inbox.

05/31/2019
View this email in your browser
Follow us on Twitter!
Like us on Facebook!
Email Us!


BPLC19 Keynote Videos are Here!

Relive the magic of April’s Blended & Personalized Learning Conference by watching our 3 keynote speakers share the authentic “whys” behind the work they do to support students across the country.
Simona Simpson Thomas, Providence Public School District – BPLC19 Keynote
Paul Emerich France, The Latin School of Chicago – BPLC19 Keynote
Jonathan Santos Silva, NACA Inspired Schools Network – BPLC19 Keynote

Apply Now for Highlander Institute Job Openings

Highlander Institute is a non-profit organization located in Providence, RI. Our vision is an equitable, just education system that meets the needs of all students as it prepares them for success in our complex, rapidly changing world. Highlander Institute supports classrooms, schools, district leaders, and state education agencies in reimagining how students learn, how learning is measured, and what skills and competencies are essential for success both in college and beyond.

Committed to equity and inclusiveness in education, Highlander Institute strives to support all schools in personalized learning programs that are student-centered and culturally responsive. As we continue to grow, we are committed to hiring a staff that reflects the diverse population we serve. We are looking for talented people to join us as we work to remodel our education system. If you are passionate about empowering students and leveling the playing field for all learners, we want you on our team!

Chief of Staff
Executive Assistant

Congratulations Cohort 3 Fuse Fellow, Elizabeth Russillo:
Rhode Island Teacher of the Year 2020

Last week, Liz was named 2020 RI Teacher of the Year in a surprise ceremony at Smithfield High School. She has been teaching since 2002 and has taught physical science, chemistry and engineering design. We have had the privilege of working with Liz through the Fuse RI prgoram as a Cohort 3 Fellow supporting East Providence. We are consistently impressed by her work ethic, ability to lead with empathy, and her strong commitment to students and teachers across our state. Congratulations on this incredible honor! Click the link below to read the related article in the Providence Journal.
Read the Article

Designing School Facilities
that Support Student-Centered Learning

Rhode Island KIDS COUNT invites you to join a discussion among education leaders, teachers, students, and parents about the $250 million state bond for school renovation and construction and how these once-in-a-generation spending decisions can support student-centered learning. This event will take place on Wednesday, June 5 from 3:30-5:00pm at the Rhode Island KIDS COUNT office, located at 40 Exchange Terrace in Providence.Reflections

Dana Borrelli-Murray, Executive Director, Highlander Institute
Colleen Burns Jermain, Superintendent, Newport Public Schools
Michael DeMatteo, Chief Operations Officer, Blackstone Valley Prep Mayoral Academy
Christine Lopes-Metcalfe, Chief Executive Officer, School Building Authority, RI Department of Education
Jeannine Nota-Masse, Superintendent, Cranston Public Schools
Xavier Copeland, Youth Member of Young Voices
Jaychele Schenck, Youth Member of Young Voices

Register Here

Registration Open for RI TeacherFest 2019

Join colleagues from across the state in beautiful coastal Rhode Island for the return of RI TeacherFest. This K-12 cross disciplinary conference is a wonderful way to kick-start your academic year. In 2017 we had over 400 teachers in attendance. All proceeds from this event to benefit the Narragansett Education Foundation (NEF).

Key note speakers include Ted Dintersmith, Jessica Minahan, John Rocco, Amy Lucenta, Adha Mengis, Karla Vigil, Dr. Dianne Levin, Colby Sharp, Dr. Worokya Duncan, and Marc Lamson. Registration open now. $160 for both days (lunch included) $90 for one / Certificate of attendance issued / Follow @riteacherfest to receive updates. Questions? Contact conference organizer Phil Capaldi, pcapaldi@narragansetteducation.org or click below for more information.

More Info
Please feel free to contact us directly, visit our website, or connect with us on social media!
Visit Our Website
Copyright © 2019 Highlander Institute, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you registered to receive newsletters.

Our mailing address is:

Highlander Institute

May 18, 2019

Check Out These Spring Opportunities

A newsletter from yesterday’s inbox.

05/17/2019
View this email in your browser
Follow us on Twitter!
Like us on Facebook!
Email Us!

We’re Hiring! Apply Now

Highlander Institute is a non-profit organization located in Providence, RI. Our vision is an equitable, just education system that meets the needs of all students as it prepares them for success in our complex, rapidly changing world. We support classrooms, schools, district leaders, and state education agencies in reimagining how students learn, how learning is measured, and what skills and competencies are essential for success both in college and beyond.

Committed to equity and inclusiveness in education, we strive to support all schools in personalized learning programs that are student-centered and culturally responsive. As we continue to grow, we are committed to hiring a staff that reflects the diverse population we serve. We are looking for talented people to join us as we work to remodel our education system. If you are passionate about empowering students and leveling the playing field for all learners, we want you on our team!

Please click below for more information on specific roles.

Executive Assistant
Chief of Staff
Director of Pedagogy

Fuse Fest 2019

Join Highlander Institute as we wrap up another successful year of the Fuse Fellowship. Fuse Fest 2019 is the fourth annual graduation ceremony and celebration of our Fuse community. The event will showcase the Cohort 4 Fellows from Rhode Island, Cohort 1 Fellows from Massachusetts, Cohort 1 Fuse RIC professors, members of Fuse Classroom, the growth of pilot teachers coached through Fuse, and the Fuse Partner Districts whose involvement makes this possible!

All educators, leaders, family members, friends, colleagues, and community members are welcome to attend this event. Fuse Fest is a night of accolades, accomplishments, food, drink, and fun. We hope you can celebrate with us on June 13th from 4:30 – 7:00pm at the Tech Collective in Providence.

RSVP for Free Here

PrepareRI Ambassador Opportunity

Prepare Rhode Island (PrepareRI) is one of the most ambitious plans in the nation to improve youth career readiness. It represents a strategic partnership between the Rhode Island government, private industry leaders, the public education system, universities, and non-profits across the state. PrepareRI launched in 2017, after Rhode Island was awarded a New Skills for Youth grant from JPMorgan Chase and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO).

The PrepareRI Ambassadors are a select group of education leaders who help guide PrepareRI’s implementation. Ambassadors come from different parts of Rhode Island’s education landscape, with roles as district leaders, principals, school administrators, teachers, college professors, community leaders, parents, and others. They use their unique perspectives and skills to advise the PrepareRI team, create resources and trainings to help their colleagues, and serve as spokespeople for PrepareRI. Ambassadors continue to work full-time in their previous roles and receive a $5,000 stipend to compensate them for their additional work with PrepareRI.

Planning Grant Applications Due May 24

XQ+RI is a first-of-its-kind partnership that will engage communities to create student-centered schools that help prepare all young people for the future. XQ is the nation’s leading organization dedicated to reimagining high school education so every student succeeds – no matter their race, gender, or zip code.

The official XQ+RI Planning Grant Application is NOW LIVE. The XQ+RI Planning Grant will be reviewed based on your high school team’s early attempt towards bold vision, early inquiry with the Knowledge Modules, development of a plan that focuses on rigor for all students, and your authentic engagement of your local school community.  For more information, please review the Planning Grant Application Scoring Rubric. All applications must be submitted through the online portal on or before May 24, 2019.

For questions related to the XQ+RI Challenge and Planning Grant Application, refer to the complete list of XQ+RI Frequently Asked Questions.

Learn More Here
Please feel free to contact us directly, visit our website, or connect with us on social media!
Visit Our Website
Copyright © 2019 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

May 11, 2019

Highlander Institute Wants You!

A newsletter from Friday’s inbox.

05/10/2019
View this email in your browser
Follow us on Twitter!
Like us on Facebook!
Email Us!

Thank you for all that you do!

One of the best ways to build culture and respect is to truly get to know your students and to connect the content to their individual identities and interests.

Thank you to all the teachers who make this a cornerstone of their teaching practice. We appreciate all you do each day!

“Teachers with strong interpersonal skills intentionally create positive and respectful learning environments where students feel known and valued.  They make an effort to connect with all the students, to understand who they are, what is important to them, where they come from, and what they need to move forward. [They] take time to get to know each student and make connections between the curriculum and what matters to the child.”

Pathways to Personalization: A Framework for School Change by Shawn Rubin & Cathy Sanford

Highlander Institute Wants YOU

Highlander Institute is a non-profit organization located in Providence, RI. Our vision is an equitable, just education system that meets the needs of all students as it prepares them for success in our complex, rapidly changing world. Highlander Institute supports classrooms, schools, district leaders, and state education agencies in reimagining how students learn, how learning is measured, and what skills and competencies are essential for success both in college and beyond.

Committed to equity and inclusiveness in education, Highlander Institute strives to support all schools in personalized learning programs that are student-centered and culturally responsive. As we continue to grow, we are committed to hiring a staff that reflects the diverse population we serve. We are looking for talented people to join us as we work to remodel our education system. If you are passionate about empowering students and leveling the playing field for all learners, we want you on our team!

Chief of Staff
Director of Pedagogy

Upcoming Events

May 15th: PBL RI End of Year Meetup

Are you an innovator looking to design meaningful learning experiences for students?
Are you an educator interested in Project-Based Learning but not sure where to start?
Are you an administrator interested in bringing more PBL tasks to your school community?

Join us on Wednesday, May 15th from 5:30 – 7:00pm for Project-Based Learning Rhode Island’s last meetup of the school year. This month we will be hosting a showcase of projects from across the state. PBLRI attendees will be able to explore projects, meet with educators, and ask questions in science fair style presentation. As always, refreshments will be provided. Whether it’s your first PBL RI event or your tenth, consider coming out for a great night of conversation and inspiration.

RSVP Here

July 30 – 31: Pathways Leadership Training

Join our team of Highlander Institute specialists for a two day intensive exploring the roles, responsibilities, and decision points of effective leaders of blended and personalized learning initiatives. This workshop is based on the theory of change developed by Shawn Rubin and Cathy Sanford in their book Pathways to Personalization: A Framework for School Change (Harvard Education Press, 2018). Within the framework, Lead Change Agents are the main catalysts for change in school or district reform efforts. They can be principals, instructional coaches, district administrators or teachers – essentially any leader who has been empowered to make decisions and reduce barriers in support of the initiative.

Through interactive simulations, collaborative activities, discussions, and planning time, participants will explore key elements and influences impacting school change. Learning outcomes include a deep understanding of how to establish a design team, support pilot efforts, engage in continuous improvement cycles, document learning, replicate successes, and build trust among various stakeholder groups.

Familiarity with the Pathways to Personalization Framework will benefit participants as they engage in the training activities. Click below for more information.

More Info

Upcoming Community Events

May 15th: 2019 New England Equity Summit

Highly collaborative professional cultures that prioritize communal learning increase equitable practices and outcomes. And yet, it is rare in the working life of professionals to engage in deep conversations about personal development, identity, and equity. As a learning and leading  community committed to equity in New England, this summit is an opportunity for us to practice ways to engage in critical conversations that lift the ceiling on what’s possible for students across our region! Join us for our second annual summit on May 15th from 4:00 – 7:00pm at the CLEE office, located at 40 1/2 Rice Street in Providence. Register for your ticket here.
RSVP Here

May 18th: Transgender Inclusion Leadership Academy

TGI Network of Rhode Island’s mission is to serve the needs of the transgender, gender-diverse, and intersex communities of Rhode Island through advocacy, vital support services, and a strong, connected community network. On Saturday, May 18, from 9:00am – 12:00pm at Rhode Island College, TGI will host the first half-day Transgender Inclusion Leadership Academy, a comprehensive, dynamic learning opportunity for local professionals, educators, and clergy.

The Transgender Inclusion Leadership Academy strives to:
• increase understanding of transgender identities and gender diversity;
• build cultural competency so you can better engage with transgender clients, customers, & students;
• expand workplace inclusion for transgender employees.

RSVP Here

Mentor Young Teachers at
Breakthrough Providence this Summer!

Program runs from June 19 – August 15, 2019

Breakthrough Providence is looking for strong teachers to mentor and coach for their 24 high school- and college-age teachers this summer! Mentor Teachers train and guide high school and college students toward become effective teachers. Breakthrough Providence is hiring four Mentor Teachers – two English and two Math – to work closely with each other and the program’s Directors in supporting teachers as they plan and teach 7th and 8th grade curricula with low-income, academically motivated middle school students in Providence Public Schools. Learn more about the position on their website.

Please feel free to contact us directly, visit our website, or connect with us on social media!
Visit Our Website
Copyright © 2019 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 WordPress.com.