Levers for Change

The communities of Winooski and Burlington, through many conversations among teachers, students, families, administrators, and representatives from local organizations, have identified five key levers for effecting meaningful change in our schools. Learn more about the five levers below or explore our latest discoveries in each area on the Partnership’s blog.

Strengthening Youth Engagement and Leadership

Students learn more when they are engaged in what they are doing and have a voice in decision-making. We will explore how to:

  • empower, connect, and collaborate with Burlington and Winooski youth
  • cultivate leadership ability among all students
  • ensure that every student is challenged
  • involve all students in every aspect of teaching, learning, and school change

Reshaping Teaching and Learning

Today, we know more than ever before about how people learn–and we have an abundance of new tools to support teaching and learning. We will explore how to:

  • enrich student learning through flexible and innovative use of time and space
  • create learning spaces that reflect how students work and study when they are most productive and feel at home in their surroundings
  • extend teaching and learning beyond the confines of traditional schedules and classroom walls
  • encourage and enhance relationships between and among students and teachers
  • incorporate technology and community-based learning opportunities into our current practices

Personalized and Proficiency Based Learning

The world has changed and so has what students need to know and be able to do for 21st century success. We will explore how to:

  • draw upon research and community input to inform graduation expectations that ensure future success for all students
  • organize student learning so that each student achieves excellence through a personal path and timeline
  • better measure our students’ acquisition of the cognitive, communication, social, and reflective skills that they will need to be successful in the 21st century

Family and School Partnerships

Students succeed when schools support families as full partners in their children’s education. We will explore how to:

  • create welcoming, inclusive, and culturally responsive schools as part of our commitment to diversity and equity
  • unite parents, teachers, and administrators at every school to support the success of every student
  • give families a voice in education
  • ensure that all families in our community are involved in ongoing school change

Community Based Learning

The best way to build skills for college, career, and citizenship is through real-life experiences in a real-world environment. We will explore how to:

  • expand learning opportunities across the community
  • cultivate relationships between schools and community partners, including local businesses, nonprofits, colleges, civic and arts organizations
  • use extended learning (e.g. experiential, project-based, and work-based opportunities) to increase relevance and purpose and to build skills for college, career, and citizenship