The "Big 3": Implementing Proficiency, Personalization, and MTSS in Vermont Secondary Schools

Course Number: EDU 5515 C02
Instructor: Michael McRaith
Location: Online
Dates and Times: September 25, 2017 - November 20, 2017
Credits: 3 credits
Tuition: $900

Note: Please register online. Purchase order or payment of $900, payable to RRWIB, is due at the time of registration. Please mail check to the Castleton Center for Schools, PO Box 6049, Rutland, VT 05701. If you wish to pay by credit card, please call the Center for Schools at (802) 770-7060.

Course Description

The 3 major initiatives of proficiency-based learning (PBGR), personalization (ACT 77), and multi-tiered systems of supports (MTSS) have put Vermont secondary schools in the midst of significant and meaningful change. The opportunities to improve our schools by shifting our focus to these “big 3” are well recognized around the state, but these shifts are not without their logistical and philosophical challenges. Can Vermont teachers and administrators find their way through all of the challenges that come with change to ensure these initiatives improve student outcomes, close our achievement gap, and create an education system for the 21st century? What might an updated school profile, report card, transcript, or student reporting system look like in the new Vermont secondary school landscape? How might a focus on transferable skills tie the work together and help serve as touchstones for changes in instructional practice and curriculum design? How can we balance pushing our schools to evolve while honoring the wisdom and cultural inertia of the past? This course will tackle these questions and more in a practical and actionable format. The course is built to provide resources, samples, dialogue with peers, and the feedback necessary to help educators start or continue along the path of proficiency, personalization, and a comprehensive multi-tiered system of support.

Course Goals

Participants will have a resource rich learning environment to improve their knowledge in proficiency based learning, personalization, and multi-tiered systems of support, and create actionable implementation plans.

Course Objectives

1. Reflect on current and future practices, policies and procedures that connect to the stated initiatives
2. Connect learned ideas to build on existing strengths in current classroom and/or school 
3. Develop a plan for implementing new learning and artifacts for the advancement of the stated initiatives

Course Expectations

1. Weekly contributions to online discussions
Reflection paper #1 
2. Reflection paper #2
3. Final Implementation Project: The final implementation project is an opportunity for you to plan how you will bring learned ideas into your classroom or school. 1) It may take the form of a narrative describing the steps you will take in the fall. 2) It may be in the form of a presentation that you plan to present to students (or faculty) at the beginning of the year, during an in-service, or staff meeting to introduce these ideas into your classroom or school. 3) It may take some other form depending on your situation and creativity. Guidelines for this project will be personalized depending on the nature and form it takes.

Required Texts

Referenced Texts (No Purchases Required)
Berger, R., Rugen, L., & Woodfin, L. (2013). Leaders of their own learning: Transforming schools through student-engaged assessment. 
Brookhart, S. M. (2011). Grading and learning: Practices that support student achievement. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.
Guskey, T. R. (2009). On your mark: Challenging the conventions of grading and reporting.
Guskey, T. R. (2009). Practical solutions for serious problems in standards-based grading. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
Guskey, T. R., & Bailey, J. M. (2010). Developing standards-based report cards. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.
Guskey, T. R., & Jung, L. A. (2013). Answers to essential questions about standards, assessments, grading, and reporting. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
Hattie, J. (2009). Visible learning: A synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement. London: Routledge.
Jensen, Eric (2013). Engaging Students with Poverty in Mind: Practical Strategies for Raising Achievement. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.
Marzano, R. J. (2007). The art and science of teaching: A comprehensive framework for effective instruction.
Marzano, R. J., Pickering, D., & McTighe, J. (2006). Assessing student outcomes: Performance assessment using the dimensions of learning model.
McTighe, J., & Wiggins, G. P. (2013). Essential questions: Opening doors to student understanding.
Pink. D. (2009) Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. New York, NY: Riverhead Books.
Wiggins, G. P., & McTighe, J. (2006). Understanding by design. Upper Saddle River, N.J: Pearson Prentice Hall International

For additional course information

Michael McRaith
(802) 225-8010

For additional registration information

Bethany Sprague
(802) 770-7060

Register online now!