Personalized learning is tailoring learning for each student’s strengths,
needs and interests – including enabling student voice and choice
in what, how, when and where they learn – to provide flexibility
and supports to ensure mastery of the highest standards possible.”
This is a tall vision for our district, indeed for all districts, but if we aim high, it can be done.
The converging challenges in education today are to (a) help each student achieve success with the internationally benchmarked Common Core State Standards and (b) deliver content in a manner that allows us to meet the diverse needs of every child.
What does personalized learning look like? It begins by looking at education as both acquisition of information and application of information. Then we must create learning environments that nurture a strong relationship between the teacher and the student, and a strong sense of community within each classroom. Students should have opportunities for collaboration and learning with and from their peers. Students should have more choice about what they learn, more control over time and pacing, and use technology to create a personalized learning pathway.
Milpitas Unified is a leader when it comes to the integration of instructional technology in our schools. Blended learning is an instructional framework that is being used in a majority of the schools in our district. Technology with the right software is providing direct instruction to our students, anytime and anywhere with our cloud-based approach. This addresses the acquisition of content.
Thanks to the support of our community through the 2012 Measure E facility bond, we have a robust wireless infrastructure supporting nearly 5,000 Chromebooks this fall. Our teachers and students are making the most of these resources and we are excited about how student achievement will thrive in the new era of online assessments under Common Core.
This last summer we remodeled six of our schools – Rose, Sinnott, Curtner, Pomeroy, Russell, and Milpitas High. Russell will be completed by December 2014 and Milpitas High will finish up in summer of 2015. In all of our schools, we are converting some of our existing spaces into flexible learning centers that support a more personalized approach to learning. These spaces have furniture and settings that support the type of collaboration and creativity found in the best companies in Silicon Valley. As we complete and furnish them, we will post images on our district website so you can see some of the great learning spaces for our students.
We sense a growing visibility and pride in Milpitas Unified School District and the City of Milpitas. I am getting acquainted with our newest residents in the transit area and they are choosing to buy homes in Milpitas because of the combination of great schools, housing, and access to transportation systems. I am proud of the entrepreneurial spirit of our staff and the engagement of all 10,300 students in Milpitas Unified. Thank you for your support as our local community.