In Summer 2015, Fulton County Schools (FCS) launched their plan to implement personalized learning (PL) in every school across the entire district. FCS hired Mastery Design Collaborative to work with the first wave of 5 schools that would make the transformation to PL by Fall 2015. Up to this point, all five schools had received iPads and were on track to be 1:1 by the start of the school year. These schools had also participated in several ed tech pilots in previous years, but the schools had not yet made changes to their instructional model. MDC’s partnership with FCS was designed to answer the question, “How might we support schools in better leveraging their technology assets to personalize the student learning experience?”
In partnership with the FCS central office team, MDC designed a 9-month program to support schools in designing new, personalized models. Following the format of MDC’s Prototype and Transform programs, the five participating schools:
- Researched the needs and interests of their fellow teachers and students to develop a case for change to personalized learning
- Prototyped and implemented a new, personalized instructional model aligned to one or more of MDC’s five PL design principles
- Developed a 3 year plan that outlined how the design team would expand personalized learning into more classes and subjects
- Presented their final school models and PL approaches to senior district leaders
- All schools created a mural of their core vision and personalized learning priorities
- On average, each participating school implemented a personalized instructional practice that impacted at least 100 students and impacted 5 hours of instructional time, per student per day
- Schools have used MDC training materials to train a broader set of teachers at their school and expand their PL practice into more classes
- Schools will be using their plans to inform upcoming modernizations of new school facilities
Today, all five schools that originally participated in the program are moving forward with their plans to personalize instruction:
- McNair Middle, which serves 95% low-income families, recently opened a new building that is designed for self-directed, flexible learning models.
- Holcomb Bridge hired MDC to provide additional training on Pace and Path to support the science and english department in expanding their PL approach.
- Crabapple Middle has implemented a multi-path, student driven project based learning model for 7th and 8th grades.
- Ridgeview Charter redesigned their Compass reading block to become more student directed and personalized, impacting all students.