Dear ISP Community,
There is a large body of research that tells us about the most effective way for students to learn, and the most effective way for schools to structure that learning. This research informs my experience as a leader for over three decades and helps shape what we do at ISP. Components that I have found essential in great schools are:
- Guaranteed and viable curriculum
- Student/learning centered culture
- Team of teachers deliberately focused on learning and student progress against specific learning questions
- Systems of feedback and support for students and educators
ISP is putting in place a guaranteed and viable curriculum through our move to the International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme in all sections of the school. This work is progressing very nicely.
In addition, this year we are organizing our teaching teams into “Learning Collaboratives,” which are specifically designed to assess curriculum, learning plans, student progress and assessments.
Learning Collaboratives leverage the following four critical questions during their meetings:
- What do we want students to know, understand, and be able to do? Intended learning
- How will we know? Learning evidence
- What do we do when they don’t? Interventions
- What do they do when they’re already there? Extensions
In August, our Grade Team Leaders and Curriculum Leads had specific training in building effective learning collaboratives, and a number of our Wednesday morning professional development sessions provide time for learning collaboratives to meet. All teams discuss these four critical questions to ensure that our curriculum is aligned and we are looking at the evidence of learning and subsequent interventions.
We are very excited about this new system that provides guidance for teachers to collaborate around student work, as well as how it will ensure that our students are given opportunities for exceptional learning. This is one of the hallmarks of a great school and will increasingly be the hallmark of ISP.
Dr. Chip Kimball