Virtual School Meanderings

June 16, 2019

Sevenstar News ☆ Pro Forma Options For Online Courses

A newsletter from a Christian-based K-12 online and blended learning program.
The financial sustainability of faith-based schools is an important issue for school administrators and the community that depends on its services.
Dr. Mark Beadle recently published a new article that shares a framework for financing Christian schools and ideas to expand academic services online to improve the bottom line.
Visit our blog to discover four pro forma options that Christian schools can use to fund the innovation of adding online courses to their face-to-face schools.

New Course Releases

French 3
A new version of French 3 recently replaced our previous version of the course. This new course is approved by NCAA, UC, and features updatedbiblical integration.
Chinese 3
Chinese 3 is a new addition to the Sevenstar catalog. It is approved by NCAA and UC, but it does not have biblical integration at this time. The plan is to release a new version of Chinese 3 with biblical integration before August 1, 2020.

Course Titles Updated to Improve Consistency

Sevenstar has updated 24 course titles to better align with industry standards and match the course titles that are approved by UC and NCAA. Please note the following changes:

Previous Title  New Title
 American Government  US Government
CR American Government
CR US Government 
 American History  US History
CR American History  CR US History 
 Biology 1  Biology
CR Biology 1  CR Biology
Chemistry 1 Chemistry
CR Chemistry 1 CR Chemistry
English 9-12
English 1-4
CR English 9-12
CR English 1-4
Game Design 1 Game Design
MS Language Arts 6-8
MS Language Arts 1-3
MS Physical Education 8 MS Physical Education
Physics 1 Physics
Psychology 1 Psychology

Explore Online Solutions for Summer and Fall

We recently presented an overview of our online programs for summer and fall, as well as a product development update for 2019.

The recording is available to learn about our fall solutions and dual credit cohorts. It’s also not too late to enroll students in summer credit recovery and enrichment!

Welcome to Our New Partner Schools

Thank you, Lord, for blessing Sevenstar with the opportunity to serve these schools with online Christian education:

Upcoming Conferences for School Leaders

Please contact us if you would like to discuss online education with one of our experts at an upcoming event.

News from Around the Web

How Today’s Christian High School is Like Yesterday’s Christian College: Implications for the Future of Christian Education 

As a school leader, you may have heard that what happens at the college level often impacts high schools. Recently, Ryan Bredow of Grand Canyon University proposed the idea that today’s Christian high school is like yesterday’s Christian college. Read more to consider the implications for your school.

Top Ten Myths About Online Learning
More than a decade ago, iNACOL released a list of “Top Ten Myths about Virtual Schools”. In an effort to address some of the misinformation recently published about K-12 online learning, CANeLearn updated the list of myths and provided examples from a Canadian context. Read More

An online version is also available here.

June 15, 2019

Fuse Fest Highlights, New Report, & Summer Book Club

A newsletter from yesterday’s inbox.

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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!
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Highlander Institute

166 Valley Street
Building 3L, Suite 101

ProvidenceRI 02909

NCVPS E-lert June 13, 2019

A newsletter from the last couple of days.

The North Carolina Virtual Public School
June 13, 2019
Greetings, everyone!
Summer session starts on Monday! We have over 4,000 students enrolled for summer. Don’t miss out! If you have students who need to catch up with their peers, complete prerequisites before fall, or graduate early, we can help! Registration is open through Friday, June 21.
See all the details below!
Summer Session Guides
Summer Session classes begin on Monday, June 17. Be sure to have all of our guides handy!
See our Summer Session Guide for Schools if you need help preparing for summer.
Direct students to our Getting Started as an NCVPS Student page before classes begin. Remember, we don’t send usernames and passwords to students. Schools must do that. Students should also have our Start Up Guide and our Student Success Guide.
We also have a Guide for Parents and Mentors. This guide helps parents and others facilitate NCVPS courses at home or anywhere outside of school.
Action Items
District Stakeholder Survey
It’s time for our stakeholder survey! This survey is designed to assess NCVPS customer service, processes, and partnership efforts. If you are district or school personnel, please participate in our NCVPS District Stakeholder Survey.
The results of this survey are one component of the on-going process for improvement in our collaboration with districts across the state. Results provide insightful information to create positive change, improved processes, and optimal customer service. Thank you in advance for taking the time to submit your responses!
Summer Contact Information Needed
Districts and schools that are registering students for summer classes need to complete our NCVPS Summer 2019 ELA Contact Information form.
NCVPS needs the contact information for each school that registers students for Summer 2019 classes. Students registered for summer classes will need to know who the contact is, as well. Students can drop through our 10th day of class, and they need to know who to contact at the school or at the district level so that they can be dropped. Districts may elect to have just one contact for the entire district over the summer.
Presently, you may not have any students enrolled in NCVPS summer courses, but if your school does enroll students in the coming weeks for Summer 2019, we will need this information.
If districts have their school-level ELA contact information in an Excel document, they can copy and paste that into the contact box on the link above.
Printable Guides For Summer School Students
We’ve created new printable guides for parents, students, and mentors. If you have students in summer school, be sure they leave with all four student guides:
We also have an important guide for parents and mentors. Please try to get this guide into the hands of anyone how may be in a position to help the student over the summer. Sometimes just a little facilitation can go a long way in ensuring student success.
Registration for 2019-2020
Registration is open next year.
For details, visit our NCVPS Now page and click on the 2019-2020 Academic Year tab for full details. Click on the Summer Session 2019 tab for summer school details.
You no longer have to wait for the e-lert to see the latest NCVPS updates. Just visit our new NCVPS Now page where we bring you live updates on the state’s virtual school. Bookmark the page or find NCVPS Now under our HOME button.
North Carolina Virtual Public School | 1017 Main Campus Drive, Partners I Bldg., SUITE 3900Raleigh, NC 27606


June 14, 2019

Plugged In | 06.14.19 – iNACOL Innovator Awards Now Open

And from the neo-liberals to end out the work week.

Plugged In
June 14, 2019
Nominate a Deserving Education Professional for a 2019 iNACOL Innovator Award
2019 iNACOL Innovator Award
Each year, iNACOL honors and celebrates education pioneers for their work in personalized, competency-based education. Nominations are now being accepted for the 2019 iNACOL Innovator Awards, which will be announced at the iNACOL Symposium in Palm Springs, CA, in October 2019.

Nominations are now open for the following iNACOL Innovator Awards:
1. iNACOL Teacher of the Year
2. Outstanding Individual Contribution to Personalized Learning

Additional information, including eligibility requirements and nomination forms, is available on the iNACOL Innovator Awards page of our website.

Please submit a notice of your intent to nominate by 8 p.m. ET on August 31, 2019. Final nomination packages are due by 8 p.m. ET on September 7, 2019.

What’s New in K-12 Competency-Based Education?
Did you know iNACOL’s CompetencyWorks initiative regularly publishes a round-up of resources and news for the field of competency-based education? This week’s “What’s New” previews new research on growth mindset, a new competency-based learning toolkit, new publications from our partners, and upcoming professional learning opportunities.
Symposium Early Bird Registration
iNACOL Symposium Early-Bird Registration Now Open
Act now to take advantage of early-bird registration discounts before the end of your school or district’s fiscal year to save on the cost of attending the iNACOL Symposium October 28-31, 2019 at the Palm Springs Convention Center.

The early-bird rate expires on July 10, 2019. Review our Symposium pricing and deadlinesfor more details.

New from iNACOL’s Blog: Education Domain
Activate Student Agency and Ownership in Competency-Based Education
What is student agency?

The standard reply in our field these days is “voice and choice.” Certainly, “voice and choice” is a pithy memorable phrase. It also has value in that creating opportunity for students to have voice and choice in their daily lives is a relatively easy practice to introduce in the classroom.

– Chris Sturgis



Quality Principle - Inclusivity
Nurture a Culture of Learning and Inclusivity in Competency-Based Education
We made a mistake in the first few years of CompetencyWorks. We simply underestimated the importance of culture – the underlying values, beliefs, rituals, and relationships that shape an organization or community – in making the transition to a competency-based system. Many schools and districts are making the same mistake when they focus on the structural or technical changes without first paying attention to culture.

– Chris Sturgis

iNACOL Releases Updates to the Snapshot of K-12 Competency Education State Policy Across the United States
iNACOL has released the updated CompetencyWorks map for 2019, a snapshot of K-12 competency education state policy across the United States. The map was last updated in September 2018. Two states have moved up one category on the map, in recognition of new developments in state policy or leadership that create more conducive conditions for competency education.

– Natalie Truong



Quality Principles for Competency-Based Education
Quality Principles for Competency-Based Education
We are all likely to believe that in doing our best we are also doing the best job possible. But that isn’t necessarily so. We have to go beyond doing “our best” to doing what is best for students. We are verging on a quality crisis with too many schools implementing based on a narrow understanding of competency-based education with highly problematic practices. Even our leading districts know that they need to do more, do it better, and do it consistently throughout the school. Our hope that the Quality Principles for Competency-Based Education will help us discover our own potential to create responsive, highly effective, highly reliable schools that enable each and every student to discover their potential.

– Chris Sturgis

Executive Summary: Current to Future State-Issues and Action Steps for State Policy to Support Personalized, Competency-Based Learning
Featured Resource | Executive Summary: Current to Future State – Issues and Action Steps for State Policy to Support Personalized, Competency-Based Learning
iNACOL released an executive summary of the report, Current to Future State: Issues and Action Steps for State Policy to Support Personalized, Competency-Based Learning in the fall of 2018 to provide a more digestible set of action steps for policymakers to lead the transformation of new learning models. The executive summary reviews six key issues to tackle for stakeholders to reach a future state of education.
BONUS: WEBINAR – Current to Future State: Issues and Action Steps for State Policy to Support Personalized, Competency-Based Learning
Plugged In Headlines: News about Education Transformation
My View: How Personalized Learning Transformed My Classroom
Rachel Hockemeyer, Rockford Register Star

Berkeley Co. Schools Want to Ditch Traditional Teaching and Grades for Personalized Approach
Kaitlin Stansell, Live 5 WCSC

Renewal Offers Revamp for 5 Salisbury-Rowan High Schools 
Andie Foley, Salisbury Post 

How Micro-Credentials Can Encourage Professional Development Among Teachers
Stacey Pusey, Ed Scoop

One Step at a Time: A Traditional School’s Journey Into Personalized Learning
Elena Silla, EdSurge

New Project Ties MAP Growth Assessments and Khan Academy Videos
Dian Schaffhauser, THE Journal

Report: Arts A Vehicle for Teaching SEL Skills
Linda Jacobson, Education Dive

Anderson & McClennen: Across the Country, Communities Are Creating New Ways for Students to Learn – and Empowering Them to Succeed
Amy Anderson and Nate McClennen, The 74

BCSD Approves Competency-Based Curriculum to Keep Students from Falling Behind 
Caleb McCraw, The Berkeley Independent

How Schools Can Foster a Better Racial Climate 
Tyrone C. Howard, Education Week

Utah Officials, Education Leaders Call for More Personalization in Schools
Gretel Kauffman,

Getting Personal About Competency-Based Education
Drew Schantz, Education Elements

Is the Nation’s Rising Graduation Rate Real?
Catherine Gewertz, EdWeek

Google, Donors Choose Partner to Fund Culturally Responsive Classroom Materials
Emily Tate, EdSurge

iNACOL in the News
Report Ranks Utah As A Leader In Personalized Education Model
Today, Juab School District in rural central Utah has a 97% graduation rate, among the highest in the state. That’s a 5% percent increase from 2011, but for Royd Darrington, the district’s assistant superintendent…. Read More.

When It Comes to Personalized Learning, Understanding the Problem is Everything
Late last year, iNACOL published a landscape analysis of personalized learning across the country. The report showed emerging growth, but it also demonstrated how key elements of personalized learning… Read More.

How to Push DEI Conversations Out of the Comfort Zone 
For those committed to advancing racial equity in philanthropy, how do we find and stay with our learning edge-what Laura Shubilla and Chris Sturgis call “the edge of our comfort zone and competence?”… Read More.

The iNACOL Center for Policy Advocacy leads the multi-stage evolution of policy necessary for the growth of effective personalized learning models toward the goals of high quality, equity, access and dramatically improving student learning to close the achievement gap and ensure every student has access to high-quality, world-class learning opportunities.
CompetencyWorks is an online resource dedicated to competency education in K-12 education. CompetencyWorks shares original research, knowledge and a variety of perspectives through an informative blog with practitioner knowledge, policy advancements, papers on emerging issues and a wiki with resources curated from across the field. Bookmark this resource and check often for frequent updates.
Working collaboratively with diverse experts in the field, iNACOL 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. Use our web-based library to freely access and share materials.
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The mission of iNACOL 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: iNACOL 1934 Old Gallows Road, Suite 350 Vienna, VA, 22182-4040, United States

How One Bootcamp Is Solving The Tech Talent Pinch In TN

As I say each week…  From the neo-liberal, educational privatizers masquerading as an academic body – so the term research here is used VERY loosely (as none of this actually represents methodologically sound, reliable, valid, or empirical research in any real way).

Check out this week’s highlights from the Christensen Institute. 
Christensen Institute · 92 Hayden Avenue · Lexington, MA 02421 · USA
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