Highlights of Leland & Gray's Collaborative Peer Review Findings
Over the past two years, L&G’s School Board and administration have regularly updated the community with the alternative evaluation plan since withdrawing from the New England Association of Secondary Schools of Colleges (NEASC). The Collaborative Peer Review (CPR) design was borne out of the need to involve all constituents, with student voice at the center, in school reflection and improvement efforts. With Otter Valley and Mill River Union High Schools and in consultation with Unleashing the Power of Partnerships for Learning, we successfully piloted an innovative design that resulted in evidence-based findings. With the report completed this month, four presentations to various groups featured our CPR team: seniors Madison Cannella, Erica Cutts, and Alexa Litchfield, sophomore Jake Wilkins, community member/parent Beth McDonald, teachers Dr. Ruth Ann Dunn and Ann Landenberger, and myself. In May and June, student leaders will facilitate focus groups to bring a diverse representation of students together in order to grapple with the findings and discuss possibilities for school improvement.
The five areas identified in the report demonstrate that Leland and Gray’s strengths are also our greatest challenges to school improvement. Our eight-person CPR team met often to understand the deeper meaning of the results, dogged by the question, “What can account for the vast differences in students’ and teachers’ perceptions?” We wrestled with opposing ideals, such as trusting teachers’ expertise to select valuable topics and books versus students making their own choices based on readiness and interest.
Leland & Gray's Collaborative Peer Review (Evaluation) Team Presents Findings to the Public
Leland and Gray’s Collaborative Peer Review Team of students, staff, and a community member completed an evaluation from August through December 2014 in cooperation with Mill River and Otter Valley High Schools and UP for Learning. The peer review project resulted in five distinct findings all supported by evidence.
The topics include:
(1) Communication and Relationships
(2) Democratic Practices
(3) Real-world Education
(4) Student-centered Learning
(5) Equity and Instructional Differentiation
We will present the findings in depth at three events open to the public:
Tuesday, March 10th at 7pm • L&G School Board • School Library
Tuesday, March 17th at 7pm • Parent Advisory Group • School Library
Wednesday, March 18 at 9am • Community Hope and Action • Townshend Library
Please join us!
Read all about our team and the Collaborative Peer Review program here.
CPR, So Far: Collaborative Peer Review Update
Unleashing the Power of Partnerships for Learning
Winter 2015 Newsletter (PDF)
All for one and one for all! Three Vermont school principals who got together last spring didn’t chant the adventurers’ rallying cry—but their intention was in the same spirit. The three leaders made a unique commitment: they would work as partners to assess teaching and learning at their schools, creating the state's first collaborative peer review with youth-adult teams.
They already had data from sources such as YATST surveys and the Global Best Practices framework, but they wanted more evidence. To get a full picture of teaching and learning, they felt, there’s nothing like actually watching students and teachers at work. Inspired by Margery Ginsberg’s Data-in-a-Day model, they decided to collect observation data from every classroom. To do that, they would need each other’s help. In a series of reciprocal site visits, each school would host an observation team and send its own team to the other two schools. There would be no need to bring in an outside accreditation group (such as NEASC); they could rely on each other, as Vermont school peers.
Collaborative Peer Review
This week, Leland and Gray will be the first school visited by participants of the Collaborative Peer Review project, a regional alternative to the New England Association of Secondary Schools and Colleges (NEASC). A full story is featured in the Brattleboro Reformer.