Issue 29

March 2, 2017

Conrad Hall

You are always a student, never a master. You have to keep moving forward.

Dear Pioneers,

I’m in Chapel Hill this week for the Oak Foundation’s Grantee Consortium meeting with an amazing group of learner-centered pioneers who are all working to build the field’s capacity to support a wide range of learner variability. Recognizing we all learn differently, the Oak Foundation is investing in the research, tools, and professional development that can enable learners, parents, and educators to recognize, embrace, and support that diversity. Thank you Oak Foundation for your generous and vital contribution to the movement!

Also, this week, we are preparing for the fun adventure we’ll be having at SXSWedu starting next Monday. If you are attending, we hope you will join us and other learner-centered pioneers on Tuesday, March 7th from 12-6pm in the Austin Hilton Downtown (Salon F) for our Summit: It’s A Paradigm Shift. So What? We have a jam-packed session that will stretch your mind and push your thinking. And, immediately following our Summit, we’re co-hosting a Texas-size cocktail party at the Iron Cactus (6:30-9pm) with Next Generation Learning Challenges and The Learning Accelerator. We’d love to see you there!

For the Summit, we are honored to have Cederick Ellis, Superintendent of McComb School District; Jim Rickabaugh, Senior Advisor for The Institute of Personalized Learning; and Trace Pickering, our new Associate Director and Co-Founder of Iowa BIG, share their insights on the opportunities and challenges they have faced in leading the work of transformation in their communities. We also have an amazing group of learners coming from around the country—Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom High School (Bronx, NY), Iowa BIG (Cedar Rapids, IA), Summit Elementary School in McComb School District (McComb, MS), and A+ Unlimited Potential (Houston, TX). Beyond our Tuesday Summit and party, be sure to follow our SXSWedu Guide to find other learner-centered presentations and opportunities throughout the week.

We have a great issue for you! To get us all excited about our SXSWedu Summit, it starts off by featuring one of our panelists, Superintendent, Dr. Cederick Ellis, and his heroic efforts to lead transformation in McComb, Mississippi. Following this incredible story, discover how five educators decided now was the time to transform. And, saving the best for last, hear from a learner from RSU 2 in Maine and how learning at his desired pace has put him years ahead of his previous academic track. Enjoy!

Warm wishes,
Kelly Young

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