Welcome to the 2017-2018 School Year!

Today’s post is brought to you by Don Taylor, language arts and social studies teacher at Main Street Middle School in Montpelier and co-director of PLP Pathways.

Welcome to the 2017 - 2018 edition of PLP Pathways! Many of us have spent the summer reflecting, rejuvenating, and recharging for the start of the new school year. A casual review of tweets, posts, and feeds indicates that many Vermont educators have set high expectations and professional goals for the year; PLP Pathways welcomes the opportunity to support you on those educational journeys.

For those not familiar with our organization, PLP Pathways is a teacher-led professional development community created to support the implementation of the three pillars of personalized learning (personal learning plans, proficiency-based assessment, and flexible pathways) and the development of innovative curriculum for Vermont.

Like many collaboratives across the state, we’re trying to build relationships across schools, communities, and organizations. The difference is that our program has been created by teachers for teachers. We’ve developed a variety of grassroots resources, activities, and media to help you stay up to speed with Act 77, to be in touch with other educators across the state, and to share your successes and challenges. You can follow us on Twitter, join or view our webinars on YouTube, or access relevant resources through our website. If you’ve got information or material that you think would help kids, teachers, and communities, let us know and we’ll spotlight those resources.

As an example of how we try to build connections across and between learning communities, we’d like to share work being done by UP for Learning. “The organization provides training, resource development, and on-going support for a wide variety of initiatives that develop opportunities for young people to assume meaningful roles in shaping their learning and their lives.” UP for Learning seeks to “...increase youth engagement by developing youth-adult partnerships in learning to ensure that each and every young person has the skills, self-confidence, and opportunities to assume meaningful roles in shaping their learning and their lives.”

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This year, UP for Learning has created a resource for partnering with students around proficiency-based learning. “Stories on the Road to Proficiency” is a compendium of video options to help spark dialogue and further understanding about the implementation of proficiency-based learning. It validates that this work has both challenges and rightful moments of celebration. It also provides compelling testimony that the destination is well worth the effort.

In addition to the videos, UP for Learning has created a dialogue guide to help build partnerships with students around proficiency based learning. You can find all of this material on the UP for Learning website.

Over the course of the year, PLP Pathways will be featuring similar programs, educators, resources, and media that we hope supports your work implementing Act 77. We look forward to reconnecting with familiar faces, exploring new learning communities, and having a great 2017-2018 school year. Good luck with the opening days of school and keep in touch!