How do we personalize a school culture historically compartmentalized by time, grade, and subjects? School educators, now supported by innovation and technology advances, see better possibilities for school customization one behalf of each student beyond the when, where, and what in the traditional school experience. Through the lens of this article, begin a discussion on the possibility of moving your school from where it is to where you would like it to be in meeting the needs of each student.
- Reading: “The Hybrid High School Model Transforms Learning,” Principal Leadership, January 2016, pp. 50-55.
- Select the discussion facilitator to lead a collaborative exploration of personalization strategies in this article designed to customize the school environment for students.
- Distribute links and/or copies of the reading to each discussion participant before the meeting. Encourage participants to read the selection prior to the meeting—highlighting, annotating, and noting important points.
Full Faculty Discussion
- Divide the faculty into groups of eight to ten.
- Distribute copies of the Discussion Prompts to each group and assign a recorder to summarize the group discussion.
- Ask faculty members to ignore their assumptions and use specific reading selection examples to support their comments during group discussions. Use the discussion prompts to continue the conversation in a way that is most relevant to your school.
- Begin the conversation with the following Discussion Prompts.
- Have the recorder of each group discussion summarize on chart paper the group responses to Discussion Prompts two, three, six, seven, and 11.
- Post each group’s chart paper and reconvene the faculty.
- Using the chart paper, have a member from each group review the conversation notes for the selected question prompts and identify strategies and initiatives that would be effective at your school.
- Identify and “star” any discussion items that were recorded on chart paper by three or more discussion groups.
- Lead a faculty discussion about those strategies and initiatives that have been identified for potential use at your school.
Extend and Apply
Have each staff subgroup identify a planning team representative. The team should agree on a future scheduled meeting time.
Planning Team Meeting Process
- The planning team should reflect on the meeting summary notes and faculty subgroup discussions.
- Review the mindsets identified by the faculty groups. Review the discussion prompt summaries posted by each group.
- The team should lead a collaborative discussion using the prompts.
- The planning team should identify the additional strategies and actions from the discussions that could be implemented at your school to plan a new initiative or improve an existing one.
- The design team should review the effective process steps for program implementation. Use the Discussion Guide Planning Templates to determine next steps needed for implementing a successful initiative.
- As a group, the planning team should write the plan for action and prepare for collaborative administrative and faculty discussions.