October 18, 2021
New Student Learning Plans Enhance Individual Growth
Every City Schools student is creating a plan with families and educators
What are students’ hopes and dreams? What are their goals? How can educators help them grow and succeed? How can their families support their learning?
For one City Schools student, a sense of competition might help them thrive. For another, working silently may be a crucial component of their learning. Some scholars may need support after school to complete their homework, and others might excel best as part of a team.
Every student enters their learning experiences as an individual, with their own contexts, experiences, preferences, and needs. To create an educational process best suited to support their growth, City Schools has implemented Student Learning Plans. For the first time, every City Schools student, their educators, and their family members will complete a Student Learning Plan this school year.
Meaningful engagement and reflection by all people central to a student’s growth was identified as a priority in the Reconnect, Restore, Reimagine plan as City Schools began planning its post-pandemic student recovery process. Based on national research on student success planning and developed in collaboration with educators, school leaders, and district representatives, Student Learning Plans encourage positive goal setting, clearly outline academic requirements, and treat families and educators as partners in a student’s learning. Plans and the prompts in them are tailored to students’ ages and will be updated three times each year — in the fall, spring, and at the beginning of summer.
In the plan, a student will complete an About Me section in collaboration with their teacher. This will help develop a personal relationship and a shared understanding of how the student best learns. For parents and guardians, the plan is an opportunity to share information about their learner — what are their needs, what should their teacher know to best support them, and how they can help their student’s learning at home. Plans will also include a student’s academic standing, status, and credits so they are easily understood and referenced.
The Student Learning Plans also focus on the future: what specific goals do students have - academically and personally? What supports — such as mentoring and tutoring — might they need to help them? For older students, how do they feel about their college or career aspirations — and what steps do they need to take to get there? Student Learning Plans include prompts for collaborative discussions with educators.
In the process, the plans offer students and families a roadmap and checkpoints towards the learning outcomes they desire. They encourage thoughtful, consistent reflection and planning while encouraging a collaborative approach towards progress.
As Dr. Sonja Santelises puts it, “Student Learning Plans are our chance to not only get students back on track but to increase their trajectory for the future and ensure continued collaboration between schools and families.”
To learn more about City Schools’ recovery work, click here.