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VUHS wins $25K grant for personalized learning

VERGENNES — The Vermont Agency of Education has awarded a $25,000 grant to Vergennes Union High School to help expand the school’s personalization efforts, including Personalized Learning Plans.
With the “Connecting Personalized Learning Plans to Curriculum & Assessment” grant, the Addison Northwest School District “hopes to build on systems currently in place to achieve even greater benefits of personalization for its students,” said ANWSD Director of Learning & Technology Violet Nichols in a press release.
According to the National Association of Secondary School Principals, personalization is “a learning process in which schools help students assess their own talents and aspirations, plan a pathway toward their own purposes, work cooperatively with others in challenging tasks, maintain a record of explorations, and demonstrate their learning against clear standards in a wide variety of media, all with the close support of adult mentors and guides,” the press release continued.
“Personal Learning Plans (PLPs), a requirement of Act 77, are co-created living documents that map a student’s path to secondary school completion, college and career readiness, and civic participation,” Nichols explained. “PLPs empower students to leverage personal strengths and explore their interests while achieving proficiency in standards supported by coordinated curriculum and assessment.”
Emily Rossier, a VUHS Walden Project teacher and a Rowland Fellowship applicant, will coordinate a team of educators and students who will work with the education nonprofit UP for Learning to implement the grant.
“I am grateful for the Agency of Education’s support, UP for Learning’s guidance and our community’s willingness to deepen youth-adult partnership and the essential work of personalization — making school relevant and meaningful for all,” Rossier said in the press release.
ANWSD was one of six school districts or supervisory unions to receive PLP-related grants, which consist of one-time short-duration funding for the current fiscal year. Grant money must be used by the end of June 2020.
Nichols, recognizing that the work covered by a potential grant could be integrated into the work Rossier was proposing for her Rowland Fellowship application, suggested the teacher apply for the state grant as well.
The school district applied for and received the grant in November.
Reach Christopher Ross at christopherr@addisonindepenent.com

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