by Kate Sommerville, PD Specialist
The Mayville School District has been an active member of the Institute for Personalized Learning since 2015. After participating in our Institute Studies Cohort (ISC), and to help coalesce their community of educators, they put together a team for our Leadership Design Academy (LDA) cohort. During their summer design session, the Mayville LDA team developed a constellation built around the Proficiency Based Progress element. Their educators rely on Multiple Instructional Methods and Standards Guided Learning in the classroom. Educators and learners are Co-Designers of Learning and Flexible Time and Pace is incorporated into the instructional design. The creation of a constellation has created common language and has allowed for conversations and sharing to take place within and across grade level and content areas.
I4PL staff recently had the privilege of spending a morning with John Schlender, principal at Mayville Middle School and Becky LeBouton, principal at Parkview Primary. They introduced us to several educators and learners across their schools. John and Becky understand that in order to empower learners, educators must also feel empowered and have confidence and trust in their leaders. Their team continues to look for ways to improve on what has been started, and expand their constellation to include more Honeycomb elements.
Although our time at each location was brief, the voices of the learners and educators are still resonating with me. Each of the teachers we met had stories that centered around the successes of their students and it was obvious that their emphasis was on the learner and helping them meet their individual needs. Mayville has found that when learners are clear on the expected outcome (standard and targets), the learning becomes more purposeful. When a learner understands the purpose and is given voice in how and when they will get to that outcome, they naturally become more invested in the learning process.
We all lit up as their learners shared their data binders and the artifacts they had collected to show evidence of their learning. Even their youngest learners understood and could articulate the specific standard they were currently working to master. Learners were involved in breaking the standards down into kid friendly, understandable targets that became the measure of progress toward proficiency. The middle school teachers described how they incorporate learner driven flex times or flex days which allow learners to choose the order, time and focus of the time to meet their needs at that specific time.
Moving forward, the Mayville LDA team will continue to develop continuums of practice around new elements they would like to incorporate into their constellation. Teacher leaders have the autonomy to create these continuums based on the needs of their grade level teams. In addition, we look forward to the Mayville teachers growing in their confidence to share their journey with others. They have an incredible story to share and their ideas will contribute greatly to the learning of educators. Check out the Mayville profile to learn more about the district and their personalized learning journey.
Images courtesy of Mayville School District