Afternoon Workshops

12:30pm - 3:30pm

Pathways to Personalization: A Framework for School Change

Presenters: Shawn Rubin & Cathy Sanford, Highlander Institute
For: Change Agents (Teacher Leaders, School Leaders, District Leaders, School Board Members, etc.)

This introductory workshop will explore the five phases of the Pathway to Personalization Framework, which supports school leaders and teams as they design and implement personalized learning initiatives based on local needs. Through interactive activities, strategic conversations, and planning opportunities, attendees will dive deeper into principles of improvement science and change management and discuss lessons learned from Highlander Institute partnerships in over 500 classrooms. Attendees will walk away understanding how to establish representative design teams, design and launch relevant pilot initiatives, determine criteria for success, and create a path for replication and scale. This workshop is based on the book Pathways to Personalization: A Framework for School Change, and recommended for participants who have not previously attended sessions with Shawn and Cathy.

Challenging the Status Quo: Redesigning the High School Experience with XQ

Presenters: XQ Team
For: 9 – 12 Teachers and Leaders, Instructional Leaders, Curriculum Leaders, Superintendents, School Board Members

XQ supports educators, students, families, and other civic-minded people in their efforts to reimagine high school education in the United States. Launched in September 2015 as an open call to rethink and redesign the American high school, XQ has supported the development of 18 super schools across the country, as well as a city-wide partnership in NYC and a state-level partnership in RI to reimagine high school on a larger scale. Join this workshop to explore critical facets of “XQ learning”, discuss lessons learned about High School redesign over the past four years, and participate in a series of design challenges aimed to rethink the high school experience in your school.

Reclaiming Personalized Learning: Restoring Equity through Complex Instruction

Presenter: Paul Emerich France, The Latin School of Chicago

Many believe that the key to personalization is individualizing the curriculum, but this simply isn’t true. There are other more sustainable ways to enable personalization in your classroom. In this workshop, we will explore the concept of complex instruction as a means for sustainable personalization through class-wide provocations. Complex instruction operates off of three basic principles: (1) leveraging multi-ability curriculum; (2) employing human centered practices that promote dialogue and discourse; and (3) addressing issues of access through culturally responsive pedagogy. Participants will leave with this common definition of complex instruction, they will experience complex instruction through an interactive task, and they will leave with action steps for implementing complex instruction within their classrooms and disciplines.

Trauma, Relationships & the Brain: Creating Supportive Learning Environments

Presenter: Kyle Quadros & Korie Sanchez, TILO Learning
For: K – 12 Teachers, Building Leaders, District Leaders

During this introductory session, participants will begin to explore how frequent and prolonged exposure to toxic stress affects the developing brain. Children who experience three or more adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are three times more likely to fail, five times more likely to have severe attendance problems and six times more likely to have severe behavior problems. According to the Washington Family Policy Council, nearly fifty percent of our students nationally experience three or more ACEs. Attendees will participate in the Brain Architecture Game where they will experience how ACEs and other life events influence neurological development. Throughout the activity, participants will understand how the decisions they make, such as lesson planning, behavior management, and interactions with students, significantly impact the neurological development of their students. This will lay the foundation for a larger discussion on resilience and the role of educators in supporting all students. The session will conclude with planning time for participants to consider how to identify students and adults in a building who are dealing with toxic stress, build the capacity of caretakers in the school to be active allies, pinpoint conditions in your school community that are perpetuating or exacerbating toxic stress, and conduct an inventory of the impact of current and potential strategies.

The Curriculum Conundrum: Best Practices for Leveraging High-Quality Curriculum Materials in Personalized Classrooms

Presenter: Maureen Sigler, Highlander Institute
For: K – 12 Teachers, Instructional Leaders, Curriculum Leaders, Coaches

There has been a lot of discussion about high-quality curriculum materials lately. The research in support of verified, high-quality curricula is compelling, and demonstrates the importance of ensuring equitable access to materials that are adequately complex, usable, and standards-aligned for all students. So what makes a curriculum “high quality”? What are the tensions between strict fidelity to a curriculum, and “integrity” of implementation? What are the challenges to delivering a high-quality curriculum in a personalized classroom and what are the opportunities? Join us for an interactive exploration into top-rated open source curriculum units. Hear from educators who are navigating the intersection between high-quality curriculum materials and personalized learning; investigate the connection between curriculum and implementing high-leverage instructional practices; discuss critical features of curriculum flexibility; and participate in activities to adapt strong materials to better meet student needs and learning goals.