District Selected to Participate in Elite National Personalized Learning Program

District Selected to Participate in Elite National Personalized Learning Program

Fairview Park City Schools has a new tool to deliver The Fairview Advantage

101524_FacebookSummit_Infographic_595x1400-v10The Fairview Park City School District has been selected to be one of more than 100 school districts across the country (and one of only two from the state of Ohio) to partner with Summit Learning, a free program that provides teachers and schools with the resources they need to bring personalized learning into their classroom.

School leaders applied for the program because the district shares a common vision with Summit Basecamp: students should be at the center of learning.

The backbone of Summit’s approach is the online Personalized Learning Platform (PLP). Developed by teachers from Summit Public Schools in the San Francisco Bay area with technical assistance from Facebook engineers, the Summit PLP helps students set both short and long-term goals (while tracking progress towards these goals), prioritize their work, learn content at their own pace, complete deeper learning projects that apply real-world situations, and reflect on their learning. Teachers are able to better customize instruction to meet individual students’ needs and interests, including utilizing a variety of tools, many hands-on. This approach is supported by technology that allows both students and teachers to create and carry out individual learning plans and track progress towards goals.

The district will begin implementing the program and the digital platform this school year for students in sixth grade at Lewis F. Mayer Middle School and ninth grade at Fairview High School. Parents of students in those grades will soon receive more information.

This partnership aligns perfectly with the district’s strategic plan — The Fairview Advantage; a framework for student success which empowers students to create, innovate, investigate, collaborate, communicate, solve problems, lead, reflect, and serve.

The district was uniquely poised to apply for the program because of the work accomplished as a part of developing the The Fairview Advantage and its vision for personalized learning: to ensure that the school district’s offerings, tools, and instruction methods work together to develop the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary for each child to be successful.

“One of the core goals of our strategic plan, based on community survey data, is learning – specifically personalized learning. The Learning Action Planning Team built in a lot of strategies surrounding personalized learning, and this is the tool that will deliver it,” said Superintendent Dr. Bill Wagner. “We sought out the best opportunity in personalized learning and brought it to Fairview Park.”

This tool will help educators deliver the Fairview Advantage and its component goals of Learning, Readiness, Resources, and Engagement through participation in the Basecamp program and will be empowered to able to adopt this Personalized Learning Platform as a digital vehicle to fit the needs of their students.

“It is very exciting to be a part of this national community of practice,” said Director of Teaching and Learning Melanie Wightman. “The opportunity to access this tool at no cost to the district is incredible. There have been millions of dollars invested in design and development in this platform and Fairview is very fortunate to be able to be a leader in implementing this program in our schools and our community.”

This platform not only provides the ways and means for students to be intensively focused in their education initiatives, but involves parents as well. Parents will be able to see the entire curriculum, feedback from teachers, and their child’s progress.

Fairview Park educators and school leaders recently convened with other partner schools from around the country at Facebook headquarters in the San Francisco Bay area for two weeks of free professional development and training to ensure that schools are set up for success for the school year. The same group will attend regional meetings of schools throughout the year, giving teachers access to ongoing professional development.

Initially, the district selected its 6th grade team to attend with all expenses paid by Summit Basecamp, and Summit approved another cohort of teachers and administrators to attend, allowing a total of 28 individuals to participate in the learning experience.

Mary Cory, a counselor at Fairview High School, was inspired by the experience at the Summit Basecamp training and embraces the belief that in order to best serve students, it’s important to make room for new ideas and practices. “The Fairview Advantage and personalized learning are perfectly complementary — the core values and practices are inherently aligned,” she said. “The skills, the connectivity, the nurturing, empowering and engaging aspects of this type of learning are deeply holistic and intensely powerful because they serve the paramount function of honoring the individual person of each student, which, to me, is the most valuable and essential role of educators.”  

Teachers and school leaders who attended the training and who will implement the program in their classrooms/area of focus include:

From the first cohort:
Carli Vandrak (English)
Colleen Nagy (Mathematics)
Colleen Sliwinski (Science)
Joe Dianetti (Social Studies)
Chris Kaminski (Digital Media)
Andrew Slack (Special Education)
Mary Cory (Counselor)

Second cohort:
Jeffrey Hicks, Kim Dunlap (English)
William Harvey, Adam Garcia, Matthew Ziemnik (Mathematics)
Kristen Conner (Science)
Carin Lawrence (Social Studies)
Annie Clouse (Art)
Emma Cassell, Steve Ruic, Laura Ryals (Special Education)
Graham Codney (Technology Integration)
Nora Walsh (Counselor)

Support staff and administration:
Matt Dunlap (Director of Technology)
Connie Obrycki (Director of Student Services)
Melanie Wightman (Director of Teaching and Learning)
Bill Wagner (Superintendent)

Additional participating teachers including Andrew Bruening (Science), David Latkovic (English), Jessica Atwood (Social Studies), and Lindsey Wallace (Mathematics) are currently being inducted into the program by their colleagues.

The district is now empowered to embed local training, as well as to continue refining the content housed on the platform.

“The Summit Personalized Learning program is the only comprehensive curriculum and assessment platform in the nation. This curriculum is developed and managed by teachers and, through generous foundation funding, made available free for broader use in public schools,” explains Wightman. Content, assessment tools (rubrics, tests, projects, and more) are constantly vetted by Stanford University.  Because teachers create and curate an organic, living curriculum, they are deeply invested in implementing all elements and phases with fidelity.  Teachers are especially enthusiastic about building those habits and skills that work across content areas and are required to excel in school and beyond.”

The platform is a tool, an important tool that both catalyzes and sustains the personalized learning experience. The result can be realization of The Fairview Advantage: To learn differently, care deeply, and aspire to excellence,” Wightman said.

“This commitment from teachers and school leaders, along with our community’s resolve, are driving the momentum of this cultural shift in education towards personalized learning.”

For more information on Fairview Park City Schools’ partnership with Summit Basecamp, please contact Melanie Wightman

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