Virtual School Meanderings

January 20, 2021

Aurora Institute Webinar 1/27 – Strengthening Relationships and Social Emotional Learning Supports to Foster Equity and Academic Success

Filed under: virtual school — Michael K. Barbour @ 10:09 pm
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A final item today from the neo-liberals.

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Aurora Institute - A New Dawn for Every Learner | Stay Connected
WEBINAR ANNOUNCEMENT
Strengthening Relationships and Social Emotional Learning Supports to Foster Equity and Academic Success

Strengthening Relationships and Social Emotional Learning Supports to Foster Equity and Academic Success

January 27, 2021 | 1 PM ET
More than ever, successful schools are laser-focused on strengthening relationships with students, bolstering social-emotional learning (SEL) supports, and guiding each student’s academic growth. These are the facets of an effective primary person model—a term for the conditions and practices that enable these goals—which help to drive equity and build a sense of identity and belonging.

Springpoint Directors of Leadership & School Design Jeff Sudmyer and Christy Kingham will lead a webinar, kicking off with an overview on the importance of learning partnerships as a way to emphasize the critical role of trusting, caring relationships that are essential to successful primary person models.

Participants will have an opportunity to dig into a practical academic coaching tool and unpack a model academic conference alongside a school-based educator, School Social Worker Athania Ramos, who will join to discuss the critical moves that help her successfully support students on their learning journey. Springpoint will provide resources and tools that participants can use in their own school community following the session.

Presenters:

  • Jeff Sudmyer, Director, Leadership & School Design, Springpoint
  • Christy Kingham, Director, Leadership & School Design, Springpoint
  • Athania Ramos, School Social Worker, CREC Impact Academy
Register
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January 16, 2021

Plugged In | 1.15.21 – A New Year, Better Than Before

Filed under: virtual school — Michael K. Barbour @ 1:31 am
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And an item from the neo-liberals to finish out the week.

Web Version
Aurora Institute - Plugged In
Better than Before
As 2021 dawned, we saw many wishes to “return to normal,” to re-open schools and get back to the way things were before the global COVID-19 pandemic fundamentally altered life as we knew it. The urge is completely understandable: what is known must surely be better than staying adrift in a time when no one knows where the guideposts are. In a post reflecting on the successes of the past year and looking ahead to what’s possible in 2021, Aurora Institute President and CEO Susan Patrick challenges the wishes for normalcy.
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Aurora Institute Statement on the Violent Storming of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021
Aurora Institute President & CEO Susan Patrick issued the following statement in the aftermath of the violent breach of the U.S. Capitol and attempt to overturn the presidential election and thwart a peaceful transition of power:

“Aurora Institute vehemently condemns the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. The actions, and their antecedents in violent rhetoric, cast a dark shadow over an American tradition that has played out peacefully for two centuries. This brand of domestic terrorism is an assault on democracy, and yet another trauma heaped on a nation already beset by challenges we’ve yet to overcome.”
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Webinar Invitation | January 27, 2021 | 1 PM ET

 

Strengthening Relationships and Social Emotional Learning Supports to Foster Equity and Academic Success

Strengthening Relationships and Social Emotional Learning Supports to Foster Equity and Academic Success

More than ever, successful schools are laser focused on strengthening relationships with students, bolstering social emotional learning (SEL) supports, and guiding each student’s academic growth. These are the facets of an effective primary person model—a term for the conditions and practices that enable these goals—which help to drive equity and build a sense of identity and belonging.

Springpoint Directors of Leadership & School Design Jeff Sudmyer and Christy Kingham will lead a webinar, kicking off with an overview on the importance of learning partnerships as a way to emphasize the critical role of trusting, caring relationships that are essential to successful primary person models.

Participants will have an opportunity to dig into a practical academic coaching tool, unpack model academic conferences, and practice conferencing. Springpoint will provide resources and tools that participants can use in their own school community following the session. A school-based educator, School Social Worker Athania Ramos, will join to showcase her work, discussing the critical moves that help her successfully support students on their learning journey.

Presenters include:

  • Jeff Sudmyer, Director, Leadership & School Design, Springpoint
  • Christy Kingham, Director, Leadership & School Design, Springpoint
  • Athania Ramos, School Social Worker, CREC Impact Academy
Register
Education Domain Blog
Taking Time to Assess What Students Know, Think, and Feel
Taking Time to Assess What Students Know, Think, and Feel

When my twins’ fourth-grade teacher shared their scores during their back-to-school conference last September, I was reminded of how little we learn from the summative data. Knowing their reading level was above proficient as compared to their district and state peers did not help their teacher understand areas where one or both of them might be struggling any more than the scores could tell me if they identified or connected with the stories they read. I left the meeting with a nagging feeling about what would be useful.

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Aurora Institute Issues Statement on the Nomination of Dr. Miguel A. Cardona as Education Secretary

“The Aurora Institute congratulates Dr. Miguel A. Cardona on his historic nomination to serve as the next Secretary of Education. Dr. Cardona has a distinguished history as a strong advocate for educational equity, and his professional and personal commitment to the future success of all children makes us optimistic for the road ahead. We pledge our best efforts to support the incoming administration in what will inevitably be a challenging year of re-opening and recovery, restoring hope, expanding opportunity, and transforming education.”

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Statement on the Nomination of Dr. Miguel A. Cardona as Education Secretary
Top 10 Posts of 2020
Top 10 Posts of 2020

K-12 education has been far from ordinary this year. As the novel coronavirus pandemic picked up pace across the nation, we supported school systems with lessons about anytime, anywhere learning. Also, education policymakers throughout the country sought counsel on how to enable the conditions for personalized, competency-based education. From continuity of learning to comments on federal policy to new publications, the Education Domain blog has chronicled a year that history may prove to be a watershed moment for systems change in K-12 education. The following 10 posts are the ones that resonated most with our readers in 2020.

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Featured Resource
Mere Engagement: Reflections about the Connections Between Online Learning, Student Agency, and Student Engagement

Mere Engagement: Reflections about the Connections Between Online Learning, Student Agency, and Student Engagement

School leaders mustn’t lose sight of the need for student agency and student engagement as they contend with the myriad challenges posed by COVID-19. In fact, they must reimagine what agency and engagement can look like in cases when students are learning virtually and also when they are unable to connect.

Mere Engagement: Reflections about the Connections Between Online Learning, Student Agency, and Student Engagement offers school leaders seven action steps to support students’ sense of mastery and ownership of their learning, along with promoting their sense of connection and belonging. They include:

  1. Make the implicit explicit by providing clear communications in multiple formats.
  2. Ensure anytime, anyplace learning with a mix of synchronous and asynchronous learning activities.
  3. Enable competency-based learning where students demonstrate mastery of content.
  4. Keep families in the loop.
  5. Design lessons that link student interests with the environment.
  6. Check for learning along the way.
  7. Create equitable opportunities to learn.
Download

Plugged In Headlines: News About Education Transformation


Biden Calls for $130 Billion in New K-12 Relief, Scaled Up Testing, Vaccination Efforts
Education Week

Fed Presidents Reiterate Calls for Addressing Race in Education
Bloomberg

What Biden’s Pick for Ed. Secretary Discussed With Disability Rights Advocates
Education Week

A New School That Thinks Like a Kid
Getting Smart

How to Teach the U.S. Capitol Attack: Dozens of Resources to Get You Started
Education Week

Opinion | It’s time to move to personalized learning for all students
Bridge Michigan

How My Chicago Collaborative Supports Social-Emotional Health of Students, Teachers & Families Amid Online Learning and COVID Stress
The 74

‘I Had No Other Option.’ Teens Balance Zoom Classes and Fast-Food Jobs — Sometimes at the Same Time — to Support Struggling Families
The 74

Number of Districts Safe for In-Person Learning Shrinking, New Study Suggests
The 74

Aurora Institute in the News

Aurora Institute shares 7 steps for engaging remote students – via District Administration magazine

The authors of new guidance from the Aurora Institute have two words for school district leaders as they focus on remote students in 2021: “Mere Engagement.”

Although much of the focus in reopening schools this January has centered on providing safe environments and assurances that technology be in the hands of students – both must-haves – the Institute says there has been a notable lack of attention paid to what can keep kids from falling behind: Those two words above.

Join Our Community
Our Center for Policy  leads the multi-stage evolution of policy necessary for the growth of effective student-centered learning models toward the goals of high-quality learning and equity. Our policy priorities are designed to ensure the nation’s education system is fit for purpose and help move states forward from their current state of education to future systems.
CompetencyWorks
CompetencyWorks is an online resource dedicated to K-12 competency-based education. Drawing on lessons learned by innovators, we share knowledge through a practice-focused blog, research reports on emerging issues, policy advocacy, and resources curated from across the field.
The Aurora Institute hosts a resource library containing more than 200 materials. Working collaboratively with diverse experts in the field, the Aurora Institute produces reports, books, policy briefs, blog posts, webinars, and related resources on key topics and tough issues that equip and empower educators and leaders to catalyze and scale personalized, next-generation learning models.
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Aurora Institute

The mission of Aurora Institute is to drive the transformation of education systems and accelerate the advancement of breakthrough policies and practices to ensure high-quality learning for all.

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1934 Old Gallows Road, Suite 350, Vienna, VA, 22182-4040 United States

January 8, 2021

New Aurora Institute Issue Brief: Mere Engagement: Reflections about the Connections Between Online Learning, Student Agency, and Student Engagement

Filed under: virtual school — Michael K. Barbour @ 11:42 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

A newsletter from the neo-liberals to end the week.

Web Version
Aurora Institute - A New Dawn for Every Learner | Stay Connected
January 7, 2021
Mere Engagement: Reflections about the Connections Between Online Learning, Student Agency, and Student Engagement

Mere Engagement: Reflections about the Connections Between Online Learning, Student Agency, and Student Engagement

Download
School leaders mustn’t lose sight of the need for student agency and student engagement as they contend with the myriad challenges posed by COVID-19. In fact, they must re-imagine what agency and engagement can look like in cases when students are learning virtually and also when they are unable to connect.

Mere Engagement: Reflections about the Connections Between Online Learning, Student Agency, and Student Engagement, a new brief published today by the Aurora Institute offers school leaders seven action steps to support students’ sense of mastery and ownership of their learning, along with promoting their sense of connection and belonging.

“Student agency gives students voice and choice in what, how, when, and where they learn,” said Susan Patrick, Aurora President and CEO. “Agency puts students in the driver’s seat to take charge of their learning and gives them the confidence and knowledge to become lifelong learners who drive our society forward.”

In many communities contending with COVID-19, students aren’t physically present. That means educators need new skills to determine learners’ level of engagement and understanding. With the upheaval of the pandemic, students’ need for checking in and feelings of belonging have not only not gone away, they’ve been intensified.

Although many high-priority considerations are vying for the attention of school leaders as they grapple with what school will look like in the coming and subsequent school terms, they can stem the tide against the vast amount of learning loss school communities have suffered by tending to issues of engagement. Mere Engagement offers seven strategies to translate in-person engagement activities to distance learning environment, including:

  • Making the implicit explicit by providing clear communications in multiple formats.
  • Ensuring anytime, anyplace learning with a mix of synchronous and asynchronous learning activities.
  • Enabling competency-based learning where students demonstrate mastery of content.
  • Keeping families in the loop.
  • Designing lessons that link student interests with the environment.
  • Checking for learning along the way.
  • Creating equitable opportunities to learn.

The brief, authored by Laureen Avery, Marsha Jones, Sara Marr, and Derek Wenmoth, is available for download here.

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This email was sent by: Aurora Institute
1934 Old Gallows Road, Suite 350, Vienna, VA, 22182-4040 United States

January 5, 2021

Aurora Institute Webinar 1/14 – Strengthening Local Assessment Systems for Personalized, Proficiency-Based Education: Strategies and Tools for Professional Learning

Filed under: virtual school — Michael K. Barbour @ 11:58 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

And an item from the neo-liberals to finish off the day.

Web Version
Aurora Institute - A New Dawn for Every Learner | Stay Connected
WEBINAR ANNOUNCEMENT
Strengthening Local Assessment Systems for Personalized, Proficiency-Based Education

Strengthening Local Assessment Systems for Personalized, Proficiency-Based Education: Strategies and Tools for Professional Learning

January 14, 2021 | 3 PM ET
PRESENTERS:
  • Pat Fitzsimmons, Proficiency-Based Learning Team Leader, Vermont Agency of Education
  • Ryan Parkman, Mathematics Specialist, Vermont Agency of Education Proficiency-Based Learning Team
  • Margaret Carrera-Bly, Science Specialist, Vermont Agency of Education Proficiency-Based Learning Team
  • Emily Leute, English Language Arts Specialist, Vermont Agency of Education Proficiency-Based Learning Team
  • Sigrid Olson, Curriculum and Instruction Coordinator, Vermont Agency of Education Personalized Learning Team
Join members of the Vermont Agency of Education’s Proficiency-Based and Personalized Learning Teams as we delve into strategies for strengthening local assessment systems. Participants will learn about essential components of strong proficiency-based systems of assessment, investigate resources for improving systems, and see how evidence of learning can be captured in personalized learning plans.
Register
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This email was sent by: Aurora Institute
1934 Old Gallows Road, Suite 350, Vienna, VA, 22182-4040 United States

December 11, 2020

Plugged In | 12.11.20 – New CompetencyWorks Issue Brief, Upcoming Webinar, and More

Filed under: virtual school — Michael K. Barbour @ 11:07 pm
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And a newsletter from the neo-liberals to finish off the week.

Web Version
Aurora Institute - Plugged In
New CompetencyWorks Case Study Offers Resources for Schools, Districts, and States to Rethink Their Approach to Assessment
New CompetencyWorks Case Study Offers Resources for Schools, Districts, and States to Rethink Their Approach to Assessment
Strengthening Local Assessment Systems for Personalized, Proficiency-Based Education: Strategies and Tools for Professional Learning is a new Competency Works issue brief that describes a coordinated set of convenings in Vermont to support schools, districts, and other education organizations seeking to create high-quality local comprehensive systems of assessments. It offers an overview of the rationale and essential components of the new system, formative and summative performance assessments, and student-designed performance assessments. Pat Fitzsimmons, the Proficiency-Based Learning Team Leader at the Vermont Agency of Education, authored the brief.
Download
Webinar Invitation | January 14, 2021 | 3 PM ET
Strengthening Local Assessment Systems for Personalized, Proficiency-Based Education: Strategies and Tools for Professional Learning
Join members of the Vermont Agency of Education’s Proficiency-Based and Personalized Learning Teams as we delve into strategies for strengthening local assessment systems. Participants will learn about essential components of strong proficiency-based systems of assessment, investigate resources for improving systems, and see how evidence of learning can be captured in personalized learning plans.

Presenters include:

  • Pat Fitzsimmons, Proficiency-Based Learning Team Leader, Vermont Agency of Education
  • Ryan Parkman, Mathematics Specialist, Vermont Agency of Education Proficiency-Based Learning Team
  • Margaret Carrera-Bly, Science Specialist, Vermont Agency of Education Proficiency-Based Learning Team
  • Emily Leute, English Language Arts Specialist, Vermont Agency of Education Proficiency-Based Learning Team
  • Sigrid Olson, Curriculum and Instruction Coordinator, Vermont Agency of Education Personalized Learning Team
Register
Education Domain Blog
Examine the Purpose of Accountability

State and district leaders are greatly concerned about how the disruption caused by COVID-19 will impact the ability to assess students and identify schools for improvement. Competency-based education systems provide data and evidence of student performance in real-time, with a portfolio of student work and performance assessments. With better data, multiple measures, data literacy, quality assurance, and the requisite investments in educator capacity, we could evaluate proficiency, achievement gaps, rate of progress, and also understand growth based on individual student growth over time.

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Examine the Purpose of Accountability
What Does Attendance Mean in the COVID-19 Era? New Issue Brief Offers Analysis and Recommendations
What Does Attendance Mean in the COVID-19 Era? New Issue Brief Offers Analysis and Recommendations

Attendance looks dramatically different in the COVID-19 era of remote and online learning, and states are grappling with setting policies that account for what attendance should mean and what it should look like. We’ve responded to multiple requests for technical assistance on this subject with a new offering for the field, Determining Attendance and Alternatives to Seat-Time, an issue brief we released at our recent National Policy Forum.

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Featured Resource
National Research Convening: Building the Evidence Base for K‐12 Personalized Learning

Resources from the National Research Convening: Building the Evidence Base for K‐12 Personalized Learning

On October 20, 2020, Aurora Institute convened more than 100 education professionals as part of a pre-Symposium convening to explore themes surrounding the evidence on personalized learning. Generously sponsored by The Leon Lowenstein Foundation, convening sessions covered personalized learning implementation and outcomes, measurement, the learning sciences, culturally responsive education, researcher positionality, educational equity, state examples, and communications. Recordings from the event are now available.

Watch

Plugged In Headlines: News About Education Transformation


Resource Round Up: Competency-Based Education
Students at Center Hub

Mickey Revenaugh of Connections Academy & Pearson: 5 Things That Should Be Done To Improve The US Educational System
Authority Magazine

‘A lost generation’: Surge of research reveals students sliding backward, most vulnerable worst affected
Washington Post

Evidence of learning loss is piling up. Here’s how the U.S. could design a tutoring program to help
Chalkbeat

Realizing the future of learning: From learning poverty to learning for everyone, everywhere
The World Bank

Competency-based education in China [podcast]
FreshEd

How Should Schools Quarantine Students Exposed to Coronavirus? An Explainer
Education Week

States Push to Ditch or Downplay Standardized Tests During Virus Surge
Education Week

How is COVID-19 affecting student learning? Initial findings from fall 2020
The Brookings Institution

How Schools and Colleges Are Innovating During the Pandemic
FutureEd

Aurora Institute in the News

The Education Exchange: How Online Learning Is Unleashing Innovation – via Education Next
[PODCAST] The President and CEO of the Aurora Institute, Susan Patrick, joins Paul E. Peterson to discuss how schools can continue to adapt and improve their remote learning environments.

Brief Proposes Alternatives to Seat Time as a Measure of Student Learning – via THE Journal
Is “seat time” really the optimal way to measure attendance during a pandemic? There are better alternatives, according to a new brief from the Aurora Institute (formerly iNACOL). The nonprofit advocates for “breakthrough policies” in K-12 education, including promoting competency-based education, which promotes a shift away from classroom time as an indicator of academic growth and towards showing mastery of concepts as a replacement.

Join Our Community
Our Center for Policy  leads the multi-stage evolution of policy necessary for the growth of effective student-centered learning models toward the goals of high-quality learning and equity. Our policy priorities are designed to ensure the nation’s education system is fit for purpose and help move states forward from their current state of education to future systems.
CompetencyWorks
CompetencyWorks is an online resource dedicated to K-12 competency-based education. Drawing on lessons learned by innovators, we share knowledge through a practice-focused blog, research reports on emerging issues, policy advocacy, and resources curated from across the field.
The Aurora Institute hosts a resource library containing more than 200 materials. Working collaboratively with diverse experts in the field, the Aurora Institute produces reports, books, policy briefs, blog posts, webinars, and related resources on key topics and tough issues that equip and empower educators and leaders to catalyze and scale personalized, next-generation learning models.
Visit
Visit
Visit
Twitter
Facebook
YouTube
Aurora Institute

The mission of Aurora Institute is to drive the transformation of education systems and accelerate the advancement of breakthrough policies and practices to ensure high-quality learning for all.

This email was sent by: Aurora Institute
1934 Old Gallows Road, Suite 350, Vienna, VA, 22182-4040 United States
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