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Letter from the Superintendent

posted Feb 16, 2016, 7:53 AM by Kari Osborne   [ updated Feb 16, 2016, 7:53 AM by CEL Marketing PR Design ]

Strategic Plan Goal #1

Provide Personalized Instruction for Every Student

February 15, 2016

Dear Princeton Community,

I have been writing the past few months about a Strategic Plan which we are ready to roll out.  Currently the School Board has approved the Mission, Vision and Core Values.  Over the next few meetings, we will be presenting the associated goals and action plans, and hope to have approval by March.

Here are the draft goals:

  • Provide personalized instruction for every student,

  • Prepare 21st Century students to be career and college ready,

  • Implement innovative programming,

  • Guarantee creative and relevant digital learning opportunities,

  • Improve communication with staff, parents, business and community partners in order to maximize student success.

My article today is the first of five articles, to tell you about each of our goals.

Provide Personalized Instruction for Every Student

Personalization is everywhere.  There is a trend away from the three television networks.  People want to watch what they want to watch--and they have choices on Netflix, on Amazon, on a myriad of cable channels.  Television watching is personalized.  There is a trend in music as well.  People listen to their own, personalized mixes of music on Spotify or iTunes.  Music listening is personalized.  Shopping online is becoming more common.  People want to shop in only certain stores, to get exactly what they want.  Shopping is becoming personalized.

And now instruction is and will become more personalized for students in Princeton Public Schools.  Personalization is at the core of instruction, as we provide differentiation for each student. Over the next year we will continue to create standards-based learning goals and progressions for each course and grade level.

One of the advantages of doing this is to engage students in understanding not only where they are on the learning progression, but also for students to learn how to reach a higher level of learning.  Instead of teachers standing in the front of the class, talking the entire time, there is a great deal of monitoring being done; teachers monitoring students, students monitoring each other, and students monitoring themselves.  The idea is to teach students to become active learners, and to be accountable for their own learning.

Effective personalized instruction uses assessments in an ongoing manner, and real time feedback informs the next step of their instruction. This approach to student assessment encourages less reliance on standardized testing.  Teachers, in their Professional Learning Communities, look at current progress of students, and work together to discover better ways to help every student learn.  

Personalized instruction is a much different lens than parents and community members have experienced in their schooling.  It is a new opportunity to create lifelong learners, to become the best in the workforce for the future.  A one-size fits all education system is a thing of the past.


Julia A. Espe