Thursday, October 16, 2014

Changing Classrooms in Today's Public Schools: Creating Personalized Learning Environments

The Washington West Supervisory Union 
Annual Keynote Address:
by Brigid S. Scheffert,   Superintendent of Schools
A lot has been happening around the state of Vermont surrounding public education. With the highest number of budgets defeated last year in a decade, and the mounting pressures around property taxes and declining enrollment, I do fear the perfect storm is ahead.  (10 minute video of the presentation)

The ABC’S of How to Persevere and Become a True Risk Taker in Your Life and Work:
    A- Accept the challenges along the way
    B- Believe in Yourself
    C- Convert your thoughts to hopes
    D- Use determination to convert those hopes to reality
    E- Expect obstacles on the way up
    F- Fight for it, be faithful to the mission, and finish the course
    G- Get others, especially parents on your side
    H- Have heart and bring humor in
     I- Inspire someone else
     J- Jump in to it-don’t toe dip
    K- Keep on keeping on
    L- Lead those around you with “teach with pride
    M- Make every day count
    N- Never give up
    O- Overcome the obstacles
    P- Put your best foot forward-don’t let the crap pull you in
    Q- Quit quitting
    R- Run the race with patience
    S- Strive on with grit
    T- Trust your students to do what’s right
    U- Use all your talents
    V- Value student voice, yourself and those around you
    W- Wait for understanding
    X- X-ray your own practice every day
    Y- Yearn to achieve all that we seek to make these changes
    Z- Be zealous when we get there. And..we will get there together!

In this life of ours, the only way out IS through.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Let's Step Carefully As We Change Our Public Schools

Dear Friends and Colleagues,
As we gain steam getting well into our school year, I am struck with the magnitude of change occurring in all landscapes of public education. My concerns remain high for a thoughtful, measured movement forward with strong monitoring and quality controls along the way. Let us not lose sight of the best interests of children, as we struggle with budget season and manage the implementation of the sea change in public education surrounding personalized learning and proficiency based requirements. Balance is key. Let us not allow ourselves to succumb to the burdening and stifling decision making we endured under the previous NECAP assessment federal accountability systems response to NCLB, as we embark on our new accountability path with the new SBAC assessment. Let us not be robbed of our common sense, local decision making, and intuition in regards to what is best for our children.

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The plot against public education

Bill Gates had an idea. He was passionate about it, absolutely sure he had a winner. His idea? America's high schools were too big. When a multibillionaire gets an idea, just about everybody leans in to listen. And when that idea has to do with matters of …