In accordance with the recent proposal for "education transformation" from Gov. Peter Schumlin and the Vermont State Board of Education, Yvonne Woodcock, principal of East Burke School in East Burke, is implementing a new student-driven curriculum. The customized curriculum is designed around each student's interest. It uses the Common Core Standards as a guide to create overarching questions in the various subject areas.
Each student's individual curriculum is housed on a Google template on the Google drive in the cloud. All student work is kept on the cloud using the Nexus 7 tablet. This tablet is specially designed to work with Google and the cloud. All of the needed apps, books, videos and materials to assist students in their studies are easily downloaded through East Burke's education account with Google.
Constellated Learning custom designed the above mentioned template for East Burke School's needs. This template allows students to plan, brainstorm and stay organized. Students' projects and work are assessed using the 21st Century Literacy Skills of writing, verbal and oral expression, personal development and self-awareness, critical thinking, global citizenship, listening and reading comprehension and collaboration. These criteria are in a rubric that measures each student's progress. The rubric that assesses these criteria was created and licensed by Mount Abe Union Middle and High School. To move from one level to the next in the rubric, students must show evidence of their progress. Evidence can include a journal, a report, a picture of completed work, a video, an audio interview, etc. The evidence is uploaded to the template on the Evidence page.
Also as part of the template, is a Best Work Portfolio page where students will keep their best work. When students graduate from East Burke School and continue in their desired careers they will have a comprehensive portfolio to show colleges, trade schools or potential employers. This will give EBS students an "edge" when pursuing the next step in their lives. Many high school graduates leave school not knowing what they want to do next and waste money and time studying the wrong degree or pursuing the wrong career. East Burke School students will know not only what they want to do, but what they do not want to do as well by exploring their interest in high school.
East Burke School student can expand their exploration of their interest by being placed in volunteer, internships or jobs in the community. They will also be exposed to the actual day-to-day career by shadowing professionals in that given field.
This curriculum is cutting edge in the field of education. Things like attendance and grades become less of an issue because students have access to their projects, plans, reading lists 24 hours a day through the tablet or personal computers. It's on the cloud and the cloud is accessible anywhere. Students can work on their projects when they are sick, on vacation or during the summer. They are assessed on content knowledge and comprehension of that knowledge using the rubric. If necessary, the rubric is easily transferable to traditional grades.
The implementation is going very smoothly and the students and staff are very excited about the new curriculum. It is a brand new way to educate students. East Burke School will be hosting an open house on March 7 and will demonstrate how the new curriculum works.