In April 2014, Henry County Schools (HCS) was awarded a Next Gen Systems Initiative (NGSI) grant to develop a long-term plan for designing and rolling out personalized learning system wide. As part of that plan, the district committed to transforming all 50 of its schools, redesigning 6-10 schools for personalized learning each year over a 6 year period. Up until this point, HCS was moving to a 2:1 student to device ratio and only had 2-3 schools implementing blended learning models. They were essentially starting from scratch and had a long way to go to become a fully personalized school district. MDC’s partnership with HCS was designed to answer the following challenge, “How might we transform all 50 schools across the district to personalize the learning experience for every child?"

Teachers collaborate on lesson planning

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Students choose projects on 'What I Need' days

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Our Approach

In partnership with the Henry County Central Office, the MDC designed a 9-month school transformation process to support each school in designing and implementing a personalized learning model over 2-3 years. Following the format of MDC’s Prototype and Transform programs, every Henry County School

  • 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

MDC also monitored and evaluated the implementation progress of each school 12 months after completing the initial transformation plans.

Early Results

  • The success of Henry County’s was nationally recognized in a recent feature by Ed Week. (See Article)
  • To date, Henry County has worked with MDC to redesign 23 district schools over 3 cohorts. All 23 schools continue to implement their school transformation plans and have shown positive gains in both math and english test scores.
  • 100% of all schools served design a new, personalized instructional model and are implementing, if not expanding, these models today.
  • Stockbridge High School piloted a PL instructional model in two math classes and two US history classes. The percentage of students scoring “proficient” or “distinguished” on the end-of-course state assessment in the two math classes increased from an average of 68% in the previous year to 100% in the pilot year. The increase in US history pilot classes went from 56% to 76%. As a school, classrooms implementing personalized learning went from 4, during our program, to 12 the following year.

Classmates tackle weaknesses together

What's Next

Henry County Schools continues to leverage MDC’s design methodology and resources to redesign its’ remaining 27 schools for personalized learning. The district is also putting in place the centralized infrastructure needed to support of a network of personalized schools, including a competency based grading system and a learner profiles database.