The D11 Approach
The shift to personalized learning is a complex one and requires a well thought out strategy. District 11 utilizes a three-tiered approach to our work:
- Initial Professional Learning: The initial phase of professional learning is not meant to be mastery-based, rather an exposure to promising practice around ecosystem characteristics. Initial learning opportunities consist of face to face engagements, online learning pathways, blended opportunities, and high-quality site visits both internally and externally. We utilize internal human resources, G&D Associates, online learning pathways, Great Schools Partnership, The Colorado Education Initiative, and high-quality site visits to support this phase.
- Deep Change Management: Sustainable change and the ability to scale promising work are critical to the success of any organization. Using a proven change management structure, combined with personalized coaching opportunities for district and school leadership, facilitates change while providing long-term sustainability.
We use the Knoster Model for Managing Complex Change (image below) along with tools and coaching to achieve this. The Knoster Model consists of five key elements:
Image courtesy of G&D Associates
After an initial professional learning phase, schools develop comprehensive visions for design around learning, teaching, leadership, professional learning, teaching, leadership, professional learning, and engagement with the wider community. Once visioning is complete, schools establish a set of deliverables that feed into a twelve-month strategic plan with clear milestones, measures, and success criteria. Professional learning and resource allocation are determined by the strategic plan. To ensure improvement and sustainability, regular health checks of strategic plans, the leveraging of professional learning communities to evaluate and improve practices, personalized professional learning opportunities, and a multi-tiered system of supports (MTSS) that enables inclusion and equitable access to next generation learning ecosystems for all learners are essential. Executive coaching for central office and principals is a critical implementation component here. G&D Associates is our main partner for this phase.
- Message Development and Communication: When shifting to innovative models of teaching and learning across a district or school, the ability to consistently communicate the work in a positive manner must be developed. Schools are supported with structures for improved communications and some have invested in professional learning and rebranding. Effective communication structures not only foster internal and external buy-in, which leads to increased participation and access to resources, but also has a dramatic effect on the recruitment and retention of students and high-quality educators. We leverage G&D Associates and Great Schools Partnership for this work.