The Summit Spotlight Award
On Monday, Summit Learning awarded the Summit Spotlight to 20 educators and 12 schools from across the country! In the fall, the Summit Learning Community nominated teachers, leaders, and schools for the Spotlight Awards. We are thrilled to recognize THREE Summit Spotlights across our network! CICS Irving Park was awarded a Campus Spotlight (the only school in Chicago to receive the Spotlight!), Sami Smith from CICS West Belden and Jonathan So from CICS Bucktown were awarded Educator Spotlights - two teachers selected from over 3,000 applications!
"The Summit Learning Spotlight celebrates teachers and schools across the country that are outstanding examples of personalized learning implementation and instruction."
Summit Spotlight: CICS Irving Park
CICS Irving Park was recognized for their commitment to helping students develop the skills, knowledge and habits needed for success. Director, JW Kuebler says, "Our middle school has provided students the opportunity to work at their own individualized pace. Higher performing students feel they are moving through content at an increased rate and digging deeper into standards. Students that need more time to process and internalize information are given the time and support they need -students feel successful and accomplished in their learning."
Summit Spotlight: Educators
Spotlight teachers exemplify Summit Learning's values and practices - knowing their students deeply inside and outside of the classroom, building a strong and positive classroom culture, and empowering students to be self-advocates. We are honored to have two teachers selected as Spotlight Teachers - we are so proud of Sami Smith and Jonathan So!
We are thrilled to have received Summit Spotlights. We are grateful to all the Leaders, Teachers, and Students who have transformed the classroom and embraced a new way of teaching and learning. Learn more about what it takes to be a Summit Spotlight School or Educator here.
Distinctive Guest post by: Carolyn Glantz, Distinctive Schools Literacy Coordinator
What is a Lexia Fellow?
A fellowship is known as a group of people meeting to pursue a shared interest or aim. Eleven months ago, Distinctive Schools (DS) nominated Lexia Leader Fellows, who were accepted into a year-long professional learning opportunity around Lexia Core5. The Lexia Leader Fellowship opportunity embodies the Distinctive vision to Innovate, Collaborate, and Trailblaze to positively impact our students and teachers. Teacher voice is an important part of the culture at Distinctive Schools, which comes to life through our value of Innovation:
Distinctive Fellows include representatives from our Chicago International Charter School (CICS) campuses. From CICS Bucktown: Bridget Fahey (Kindergarten Teacher), and Jenna Kasper (Fourth-Fifth Grade Teacher), from CICS Irving Park, Samantha Parrish (Second Grade Teacher) & Meaghan Rohan (Third Grade Teacher), from CICS Prairie, Siri Nelson (Fifth Grade Teacher), and from CICS West Belden, Catherine Morris (Kindergarten Teacher), and Christine Roberts (Second Grade Teacher) participated in the fellowship.
Our Fellowship educators are leading the work with Lexia Core 5 at the campus level, and were ready to build their knowledge and theory around literacy and Lexia Core5. This shared sense of collaboration and innovation around a digital program in the Fellowship process became more than just learning about best practice. This collective responsibility allowed for teachers to incubate and apply innovative ideas in the classroom to the impact student learning and achievement.
- Jim Knight, Instructional Coaching Group
As seen in the examples below, CICS Irving Park teachers, Meaghan Rohan and Samantha Parrish, have created Personal Learning Plans (PLPs) and Reading Menus, where students keep track of their own Lexia minutes and units each day.
Lexia Journey: Past & Future
In our fellowship, teachers focused on the Lexia Core5 experience, implementation, literacy knowledge, ELL and peer support. We collaborated around reading responses through a Google forum and webinars that allowed for cross-campus collaboration.
Anthony Claypool, Distinctive Schools' Director of Assessment and Data, speaks to the importance of continuous professional learning, as seen through this Fellowship, for our teachers and the impact professional learning has on teacher practices around data and digital programs in the personalized learning world.
-Anthony Claypool, Distinctive Schools
As we reflect on our use of Lexia, and look to the future, we are excited to dig deeper beyond the quantity of usage and think more about quality. Our Fellows have learned how to use the MyLexia platform to further personalize instruction for their students. By using the real-time data and information, teachers can assemble groups of students in real-time to support them offline. There is a balance in blended learning that we value at Distinctive Schools, and Lexia Core5 is another tool in the teacher’s toolbox to support our teachers and students.
Interested in learning more about Lexia Core 5? Read the Case Study from CICS Irving Park.
Distinctive Schools Goes International!
An exciting first for Distinctive Schools this week, as we welcomed international visitors for campus tours! Frederico Azevedo from the Association of Independent Schools of Brasilia, Brazil (SINEPE) and a Brazilian delegation visited CICS Irving Park and CICS West Belden. Each year the Association organizes a delegation to a different country around the world with the purpose to visit different schools, to network, observe the organization and how they are innovating in teaching and in leadership.
They began their day at CICS Irving Park, and then traveled on to CICS West Belden. They spent time meeting with staff, observing classrooms, talking with students, and contemplating the learning environments. After their tour, the group reflected on what they observed. Check out the circle maps below (special thanks to CICS Irving Park teacher, April Garcia who translated these for us!).
It was an incredible opportunity to share and promote International Collaboration between educators, and we look forward to continued opportunities! #WeAreDistinctive
Trailblazer teachers and staff hold a vital role in developing school reform, and we are grateful for their innovation, commitment, and dedication to our network! This month we are featuring a Trailblazing Teacher from CICS West Belden.
This month's featured trailblazer is someone who provides enriching opportunities and reaches all students, Kindergarten through Eighth Grade at CICS West Belden. She designed a personalized electives model for middle school students, which continues to grow each year. This trailblazer gives students voice and choice over their education and the opportunity to pursue their unique interests and passions. She works tirelessly to help students discover their true passion in the arts, and effectively tailors their educational experiences to match their interests. She uses competency-based progression in teaching music, providing instruction, materials, and experiences that best meet student needs and interests. She models a commitment to lifelong learning with her own professional growth and development, and is the first Distinctive Enrichment teacher to be featured as a Trailblazer!
We feel so fortunate to have her at CICS West Belden, please join us in congratulating a Trailblazing Teacher, Ms. Anna Ausmann!
Ms. Anna Ausmann: Featured Trailblazer!