Teachers & students lead personalized learning workshops

Click here to read the story in the New Haven Idependent.
NEW HAVEN – Mayor Toni N. Harp and Superintendent of Schools Garth Harries attended a district-wide teacher-led symposium at Metropolitan Business Academy on Monday to announce a grant-funded initiative to create personalized learning experiences for high school students. Three hundred district teachers attended the event.
Personalized learning is a model of learning that creates personal pathways – through internships, capstone projects, real-life learning experiences – for students to achieve success in school, college, career and life. Personalized learning is built on the idea that students will master skills and gain knowledge that prepares them to succeed at the next level. Through its nationally recognized School Change Initiative, New Haven has been engaged in work around personalized learning for several years and is now poised to take the work to the next level. Modeling the work for New Haven are five high schools: Metropolitan Business Academy, High School in the Community, New Haven Academy, Sound School and Cooperative Arts & Humanities High School.
The announcement took place at the district’s Personalized Learning Symposium, a series of workshops presented by teachers and students that explore ways to get students more engaged in their own learning and ensure that every graduate is prepared to succeed in postsecondary education, modern workplaces, and adult life.
Metro is one of 20 New England public schools belonging to the League of Innovative Schools  that has been selected by the New England Secondary School Consortium and the Great Schools Partnership to participate in a new initiative that will help them develop personalized learning experiences that address the distinct learning needs, interests, and aspirations of individual students. The initiative’s goal is to help the schools remodel their academic programs to ensure that every graduate is prepared to succeed in postsecondary education, modern workplaces, and adult life.
The new initiative not only recognizes the longstanding commitment each school has made, but it will build on and accelerate their progress as the schools continue to strengthen their academic programs, share professional expertise, and create more inventive, motivating, and effective learning opportunities for students. The regional network currently has eighty-six members throughout New England.
“At its core, New Haven School Change is about student engagement. These five high schools are leading the way for our students by providing opportunities for exciting real-world learning experiences that prepare them for success in college, career and beyond. We know that we cannot do this work alone and are incredibly grateful for Nellie Mae and the Great Schools Partnership for investing in our school district, our students and their future,” said Superintendent of Schools Garth Harries.
“I’m incredibly energized by the work of all of our League members, and even more so by the extraordinary commitment these twenty schools have made,” said David Ruff, executive director of the Great Schools Partnership. “After more than a year of intensive work and planning, the educators in these schools are developing an inspiring array of learning opportunities that will challenge their highest-achieving students and accelerate learning and preparation for young adults who have historically struggled in school.”
“We are deeply committed to ensuring all of our students are successful and graduate prepared for the colleges and careers of their choice,” stated Judith Puglisi, principal of Metropolitan Business Academy in New Haven, Connecticut – one of the twenty schools selected for this initiative. “We have been working together to provide our students with challenging and relevant learning experiences that align with our student-centered vision. Participating in this initiative affirms the direction we are taking and will provide us with fantastic supports and resources.”