This fall, Northern Virginia’s Loudoun County Public Schools will introduce a new personalized learning approach in 15 elementary and secondary schools, adding a powerful strategy to the district’s overall vision of preparing students for an increasingly competitive, but collaborative world.
Moving deliberatively – and quickly – to bring personalized learning to the large district may prove to be a key strategy in moving Loudoun to deeper, more relevant learning. Details follow.
From a Fear of Change to a Fear of Not Changing
Is personalized learning needed in a large, successful, suburban school district?
To some, leading Loudoun County Public Schools might seem like an ideal situation to maintain the status quo, to not rock the boat.
Loudoun County, located in bucolic northern Virginia just outside Washington, DC, has been consistently ranked as one of the wealthiest counties in the nation. The biggest challenge facing Loudoun County schools would appear to be the explosive population growth in the county, which has doubled since 2000. The school system has been building multiple schools every year to keep pace. But for two innovative educational leaders who came to Loudoun in the last two years, just maintaining consistently good academic performance and coping with growth was not enough. Dr. Eric Williams, who became superintendent of Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) in 2014, and Cindy Ambrose, the new Assistant Superintendent for Instruction, realized they had an even more difficult challenge than growth: how to deepen and enrich student learning beyond producing strong summative assessment results.
To read the rest of this article, click here.