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MASA Leader - Fall 2016

MASA Feature grade levels based upon the year they were born and to be placed into a cohort of their peers of a similar age. Our students are then promoted to the next grade level with students achieving at varying points of mastery and academic proficiency but advancing as a cohort or class. Our current model also asks our classroom teachers to differentiate instruction for every child in the classroom with the goal of personalizing learning for each student while main-taining the structure of our traditional model of academic progression. With the goal of personalizing learning for every child in our district, our staff has undergone an in-depth review of our systems, policies, and practices to reimagine how learning should occur to better meet the needs of the students who are coming to us today. This includes the review of necessary changes to our daily routines to allow for flexibility in pace, path, and place for student learning. As we go through this transformation process, one of our primary challenges 12 MASA LEADER • Fall 2016 is how to create a school model that minimizes the academic impact of grade-level time constraints, without losing the sense of community, social-ization, and peer support that comes from belonging to a cohort of students of similar ages. What we found through all of this work was the systemic need to go further in our structural rethinking in order to provide students with deeper learning opportunities and to increase student ownership in their learning. Our new reality is that teachers are everywhere, and there is a difference between personalizing learning and making learning personal. Often, personalizing learning is accomplished by the teacher developing a learning playlist or script for the students. However, when learning becomes personal, a student understands what has been mastered and where gaps may exist in their learning. Once understood, the students are able to be authors of their learning. In Fraser, the primary goal of our district strategic plan is to develop a school system that allows students to move on when ready, meaning, as a student demonstrates mastery in a content area, they are able to gain access to the next level of resources regardless of the amount of time that was required to demonstrate proficiency. Our challenge as district leaders is to develop an educational system that allows the students vertical access to the academic resources they need to continue their learning progression at their pace. For some students, these structural changes will provide the opportunity to move at a faster rate of speed. For others, it may mean they will be provided with additional time to demonstrate mastery prior to moving on. In order to accom-plish this goal, our staff works diligently to leverage data, in cooperation with the student, to determine individual learning paths and strategies. When we share our work with others, we highlight the work our staff has ®


MASA Leader - Fall 2016
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