Posts By Beth Brodie

What is High School Advisory? Part 2

Part 2 of this four-part series will examine how comprehensive high school advisory programs impact academics and personalization. I will also discuss how Vermont’s new educational legislation Act 77 relates to high school advisory.

What is High School Advisory?

This is the first in a four-part series about high school advisory programs. Some parents, teachers and community members have heard bits and pieces about advisory programs and asked to learn more. This four-part series aims to answer questions about the following: 1) what advisory is, 2) the status of advisory programs in Vermont, 3) how advisory impacts academics, personalization of learning and connectedness to learning, 4) the roadblocks to successful advisory programs, 5) the future of advisory and personalization with Act 77 and 6) a look at the model of advisory and intervention at Vergennes High School. Throughout the series recommendations will be made based on empirical research and human needs theory.

What Deep Cuts in the School Budget Really Mean for Burlington

As I consider the defeat of the Burlington School district budget on town meeting day 2014, I am concerned how the state increase in school tax rate may soon impact the community satisfaction of the city of Burlington. In my fellowship with the partnership for change this year for family school partnerships, I have come to recognize how important maintaining a strong and vibrant school is to that partnership as well as to the community as a whole. We all know that one benefit of a strong school system is seen in the property value.

A New Vision for Professional Development

At Edmunds Middle School in Burlington, Vt. the standard format of having inservice days peppered throughout the year has been replaced with a model of early release Wednesdays, teacher driven committee work and professional development. Under the direction of principal Bonnie Johnson-Aten the new model combines the Wednesday early release format with the weekly faculty meeting. The work accomplished during this extended block of time rotates on a monthly schedule: committee work, professional learning community (PLC) work, supporting the one-to-one technology environment, and teacher-led professional development.

A Look at Personalization Through Mount Abraham’s Pathways Program

It is nearly impossible to discuss education today without mentioning personalization. Act 77, also known as the Flexible Pathways Initiative Bill was signed into law in June of 2013. This bill will require all Vermont students grades 7 through 12 to have personalized learning plans by November of 2015. Read more.

Benefits and Challenges of the One to One World in Maine and Vermont

Drew Blanchard, Adam Provost and I (Beth Brodie) traveled to Sanford, Maine in Mid-December to see how the one-to-one statewide laptop/device movement in Maine has changed education. What we learned was that they too, are celebrating many of the same successes we have achieved with our increased technology, and struggling with many of the same issues that we encounter in a one to one world.

Visiting Pittsfield, NH

A group of 13 students, parents, teachers and parents for change organizers and I traveled to Pittsfield New Hampshire on November 13 to learn about personalized learning plans (PLP’s), portfolios, student-led conferences and high school advisory. What we discovered was an integrated system that has connected the students, parents and teachers in a synergistic model.

Parents Show Concern for Education at Calendar Meeting

About two hundred Chittenden county parents, teachers, students and community members, came to the Burlington High School Wednesday night to discuss the proposal of a modified school calendar popularly known as the 2.0 vision calendar. Questions about intersessions, cost, and purpose were expressed. Many speakers cited a need for a remodeling of education to include greater personalization, more engaged learning, and greater community and family connections, but were not sure the calendar was the answer. The evening gave voice to the concerns and questions of the public and the superintendents assured the audience they would listen.

“Family-school partnerships can no longer be an add-on”

Dr. Karen Mapp, co-author of Beyond the Bakesale, spoke on August 19 at the Boston Public Schools Conference for Family-School Partnerships. She stressed the importance of family-school partnerships and how they need to be integral to the systems of our schools. Read more.

Standing room only at Winooski community meeting

To say it was standing room only at the O’Brien Center in Winooski this past Wednesday night is an understatement. The Winooski school board held a community dinner to present the new Graduate Expectations to a wide range of parents and community members. Read more.