Excellent Teaching and Learning Every Day

Scholarship updates

Suzanne Newell
Problem of Practice: Use of student voice to become more of a practice for teachers

Year one was a pilot year to let teachers decide what kind of student feedback they wanted. As a result, teachers were seeking different kinds of information for the first time (e.g. learning atmosphere). A student survey was developed as a means of trying to develop a standard process for students to give feedback on when their learning is working or not working so well. Suzanne Newell facilitated meetings with the pilot group and communicated with teachers when giving student surveys and interpreting data. She has at least 25 teachers committed to participate in the project during year two. The Patsy Hochman Academy Scholarship continues to support Suzanne’s work in her school.

Susan O’Neil
Developing close reading and written response routines with elementary students

During year one, a professional learning community was developed among four neighboring schools. A summative report was provided by Susan O’Neil, which included specific goals of the project and current status.

  • Goal 1: Increase student scores on district reading comprehension and writing assessments as measured by assessment data that will show growth of at least 200%. Status: Schools A, B, and C indicate an average student growth beyond the projected 200% in year one by using the pre and post Self Regulated Strategy Development scales.
  • Goal 2: Increase student scores by at least 20% on average on state literacy assessments related to Close Reading and Writing to Sources as measured by state assessment data.
    Status: Data not available yet.
  • Goal 3: Increase teacher learning about and usage of effective practices for teaching Close Reading and Write to Sources.
    Status: Data collection between schools was insufficient.
  • Goal 4: Increase student enjoyment of Close Reading/Write to Sources and teacher enjoyment of teaching this.
    Status: Data collection was insufficient.
  • Goal 5: Draw from lessons learned during the pilot to strengthen how this work is expanded in four of the 32 elementary schools with a long-term view of expanding to all.
    Status: Lessons drawn from year one – issues of communication between schools relating to implementation and data collection and schedule needing modification.

Funds from the Learning Forward Team Grant provide assistance from Vicki Duff (lead) and Linda Munger (ambassador) in providing requested resources to support in year two.

Vanessa Stuart
Explore how grit and growth impacts students of poverty

Vanessa Stuart finished reading two books, Mindset and Mindset in the Classroom and was finishing the book, How Children Succeed. During the summer, the staff divided into two groups to engage in a book study with the two books. She took six staff members in February to No Excuses University (NEU) Institute. In June she planned to send eight more staff to NEU training. She was working with the school design team to begin their journey on a deeper understanding of poverty and mindset. Stuart plans to apply to become a NEU school. Funds from The Principal as a Leader of Professional Learning Scholarship provide materials and a coach to help move the school forward in their work.

John Willis
Problem of Practice: Use recorded and/or live video to guide teachers in being more responsive to student needs

The intent of John Willis’ project is to have teachers put more focus on high-yield/impact activities through intentional, reflective conversations with peers. He worked with all levels across the district as a pilot to explore how to teach teachers to have reflective conversations. One principal gave him permission to implement at his K-5 school, but it was not determined if he would work with whole staff or just select a group of teachers. Funds from the Chidley Fund Academy Scholarship provide materials and other support.


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Establish a Learning Forward Foundation scholarship or grant: The Learning Forward Foundation accepts gifts in honor of individuals, organizations, or teams who have made contributions to the field of professional learning and specifically to Learning Forward's purpose. Learn more about this process.