Show cover of TLA Stories of Learning

TLA Stories of Learning

The mission of The Learning Accelerator is to connect teachers and leaders with the knowledge, tools, and networks they need to transform K-12 education. We make the 'potential' possible and practical for every teacher and every learner. In TLA Stories of Learning, TLA will share our insights, learnings, and conversations with real-world educators and education leaders as they make effective, equitable innovative learning a reality in their schools. Tune into our leadership series, "What Will We Take With Us?" to hear how education leaders rose to tackling the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic, and how they're working to take what they've learned into a future that supports student-centered learning across the K-12 field.

Tracks

Beyond Brick and Mortar: TTU K-12’s Flexible & Community-Oriented Emphasis on Student-Centered Virtual Learning
In The Learning Accelerator's new podcast series, Beyond Brick and Mortar, hear from leaders of established virtual and hybrid learning programs from across the U.S. about what makes their programs a success – and what they had to learn along the way.In this episode, we chat with Justin Louder,  Associate Vice Provost for e-Learning at Texas Tech University K-12 (TTU K-12), about their long history of service to students who have sought out flexible options for their learning, and how their program operates through a student-centered lens to help learners work flexibly to engage while facing physical and mental health challenges, career obligations, and other obligations, as well as their orientation toward immersive community exploration and engagement in the context of virtual learning.
13:27 9/11/23
Beyond Brick and Mortar: Gem Prep Online's Whole-Community Approach to College and Career Readiness
In The Learning Accelerator's new podcast series, Beyond Brick and Mortar, hear from leaders of established virtual and hybrid learning programs from across the U.S. about what makes their programs a success – and what they had to learn along the way.In this episode, we chat with Laurie Wolfe, Chief Academic Officer at Gem Prep Online, about their whole-community approach to preparing students for college, career, and beyond, emphasizing unique partnership opportunities, family engagement, flexibility, and supports to help students at every level of their learning journey.
09:41 6/28/23
Beyond Brick and Mortar: ASU Prep Digital on Building Relationships and Human Connections in Virtual Learning
In The Learning Accelerator's new podcast series, Beyond Brick and Mortar, hear from leaders of established virtual and hybrid learning programs from across the U.S. about what makes their programs a success – and what they had to learn along the way.In this episode, we chat with Jill Rogier, Head of Schools, Digital, and Betsy Fowler, Executive Director of Strategic Initiatives at ASU Prep Digital, about their approach to student-centered supports, flexibility for educators, and ensuring all of their students have a path to post-secondary education.
09:36 5/17/23
Beyond Brick and Mortar: My Tech High's Tuition-Free & Student-Centered Approach to Virtual Learning
In The Learning Accelerator's new podcast series, Beyond Brick and Mortar, hear from leaders of established virtual and hybrid learning programs from across the U.S. about what makes their programs a success – and what they had to learn along the way.In this episode, we chat with Matt Bowman, founder and CEO at My Tech High, about their innovative model focused on personalizing education to students' individual goals and learning preferences, offering their students flexibility and a tailored approach to education – all at no cost to families.
10:58 4/4/23
Beyond Brick and Mortar: Map Academy on Healing and Holistic Student Supports
In The Learning Accelerator's new podcast series, Beyond Brick and Mortar, hear from leaders of established virtual and hybrid learning programs from across the U.S. about what makes their programs a success – and what they had to learn along the way.In this episode, we chat with Rachel Babcock, Co-Director and Co-Founder of Map Academy, about their holistic and student-centered approach to education, designed to address the unique needs and life circumstances of students as an alternative high school. Their model weaves together collaborative and cooperative learning, student data, support structures, and crucial programs that help them develop their postsecondary and career readiness in order to attend to myriad aspects of their students’ learning experiences. 
11:09 3/2/23
Beyond Brick and Mortar: VLACS on a Mastery-Based Approach in Virtual Learning
In The Learning Accelerator's new podcast series, Beyond Brick and Mortar, hear from leaders of established virtual and hybrid learning programs from across the U.S. about what makes their programs a success – and what they had to learn along the way.In this episode, we chat with Dr. Steve Kossakoski, CEO at Virtual Learning Academy Charter School (VLACS), about their mastery-based approach, emphasis on meaningful discussion between students and instructors, and advisors who support students throughout their entire virtual learning journey with the school.
10:19 2/2/23
Beyond Brick and Mortar: The Forest School Online on Student-Centered Learning, Real-World Relevance, and Continuous Improvement in Virtual Learning
In The Learning Accelerator's new podcast series, Beyond Brick and Mortar, hear from leaders of established virtual and hybrid learning programs from across the U.S. about what makes their programs a success – and what they had to learn along the way.In this episode, we chat with Maxwell Smith, Head of The Forest School Online, about their flexible, student-centered approach to online learning. Employing targeted and relevant curricula, a focus on real-world learning, and a deliberate culture of feedback and stakeholder engagement, The Forest School Online works to provide a holistic learning experience for students across the globe.
11:06 12/14/22
Beyond Brick and Mortar: Laurel Springs School on Personalization, Flexibility, and Community-Building in Virtual Learning
In The Learning Accelerator's new podcast series, Beyond Brick and Mortar, hear from leaders of established virtual and hybrid learning programs from across the U.S. about what makes their programs a success – and what they had to learn along the way.In this first episode, we chat with Megan Palevich, former Head of School at Laurel Springs School about their fully virtual K-12 program that emphasizes personalization and one-to-one work between students and teachers, flexible schedules to accommodate learners whose schedules or needs don't align with traditional seat-time requirements, and a strong community among staff, students, and families.Correction & Note: In this episode, we refer to Megan Palevich as the Head of School at Laurel Springs School. This interview was conducted when Megan Palevich filled the role of Head of School, although as of early 2023, the current Head of School is Aileen Hawkins. 
13:36 12/2/22
11 - What Will We Take With Us?: Ector County ISD on Community Internet Access, Personalized PD, and Strong Home-School Connections
On this final episode of What Will We Take With Us?, a series featuring our conversations with education leaders across the United States on how they grappled with the COVID-19 pandemic in K-12 education, we speak with Scott Muri, Superintendent of Ector County Independent School District in Texas, about how leaders worked to make the most of the pandemic to accelerate the implementation of goals that benefitted the entire school community, ranging from expanding connectivity and internet access, to focusing on personalized professional development, to forging stronger, more meaningful connections between schools and student families.
27:46 9/29/21
10 - What Will We Take With Us?: Distinctive Schools on Communities of Care and Thoughtful Instructional Strategies
On this episode of What Will We Take With Us?, a series featuring our conversations with education leaders across the United States on how they grappled with the COVID-19 pandemic in K-12 education, we speak with two leaders at Distinctive Schools in Chicago: Mike McCarthy, Executive Director of Student Services, and Stephanie Cardella, Executive Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment. They share with us how Distinctive developed a community of care, nimble practices, and targeted instructional strategies to support students in balancing their learning and well-being through a year of uncertainty as schools closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
23:01 9/29/21
9 - What Will We Take With Us?: Meriden Public Schools on Creating Student Opportunities Through Partnerships, Spaces, and Technology
On this episode of What Will We Take With Us?, a series featuring our conversations with education leaders across the United States on how they grappled with the COVID-19 pandemic in K-12 education, we speak with three school leaders from Meriden Public Schools in Connecticut: Mark Benigni, Superintendent of Schools;  Barbara Haeffner, Director for Teaching and Innovation; and Susan Moore, Supervisor of Blended Learning Director for Teaching and Learning. These three leaders shared with us how they worked to establish partnerships with community organizations and local educational institutions, to reimagine learning spaces, and to leverage technology to support students and create engaging learning opportunities.
15:43 9/29/21
8 - What Will We Take With Us?: Metro Nashville Public Schools on Relationship-Building, Family Engagement, and Remote Support During COVID
On this episode of What Will We Take With Us?, a series featuring our conversations with education leaders across the United States on how they grappled with the COVID-19 pandemic in K-12 education, we speak with Dr. Keri Randolph, Executive Officer of Strategic Federal, State and Philanthropic Investments at Metro Nashville Public Schools in Tennessee about how the district created innovative initiatives to build relationships with students, reach out to families, and offer virtual support during school closures and remote learning, seeking to tackle the challenges posed by physical separation between teachers, students, and families.
12:23 9/15/21
7 - What Will We Take With Us: Mendon-Upton Regional School District on Flexible Learning for Educators, Career-Oriented Learning, and Innovation
On this episode of What Will We Take With Us?, a series featuring our conversations with education leaders across the United States on how they grappled with the COVID-19 pandemic in K-12 education, we chat with David Quinn, the Director of Technology Innovation at Mendon-Upton Regional School District in Massachusetts about how, in spite of the challenges posed by the pandemic, the district was able to leverage opportunities that remote learning had to offer to design innovative practices, facilitate flexible learning for educators, integrate strategic scheduling, and offer career-oriented learning for students.
24:42 9/15/21
4 - What Will We Take With Us?: Renton School District's Approach to Staff and Student Wellness, Personalization, and Engagement
On this episode of What Will We Take With Us?, a series featuring our conversations with education leaders across the United States on how they grappled with the COVID-19 pandemic in K-12 education, Bob Ettinger of Renton School District in Washington shares with us how district leadership prioritized both staff and student wellness, facilitated opportunities for authentic engagement through choice and voice, and tackled challenges with the support of teams made up of district personnel and students who co-designed solutions collaboratively.
29:13 8/25/21
5 - What Will We Take With Us?: Monterey Peninsula Unified School District on Communication, Collaboration, and Transparency
On this episode of What Will We Take With Us?, a series featuring our conversations with education leaders across the United States on how they grappled with the COVID-19 pandemic in K-12 education, PK Diffenbaugh of Monterey Peninsula Unified School District in California shares with us how the district integrated inclusive communication, collaboration, and transparency with critical stakeholders in their school community, ensuring that students, teachers, and families were set up to navigate a school year like none they had experienced before.  Through multilingual supports, proactive partnerships, and a focus on innovative practices, the district was able to take deliberate steps to move their initiatives forward and bring the full community into the fold.
21:38 8/25/21
6 - What Will We Take With Us: Austin ISD on Instructional Blueprints, Professional Collaboration and Development, and the Concept of "Learning Loss"
On this episode of What Will We Take With Us?, a series featuring our conversations with education leaders across the United States on how they grappled with the COVID-19 pandemic in K-12 education, Dr. Suzanne Newell of Austin Independent School District in Texas details how the district focused on supporting students and teachers by providing instructional blueprints with prioritized standards to help guide instructional time, as well as how they emphasized professional collaboration to address "learning loss" (also referred to as unfinished learning) and maximized time for valuable remote professional development.
18:40 8/25/21
0 - Welcome to TLA Stories of Learning
The Learning Accelerator envisions a future in which each student receives the effective, equitable, and engaging education they need to reach their full and unique potential. As we work to build bridges across the K-12 education field, we're incredibly excited to announce the launch of our first podcast: TLA Stories of Learning, to share the stories, learnings, and insights we've heard from real-world educators and leaders.In this introductory episode, find out what you can expect from TLA Stories of Learning, and discover what's in store as we release our first series, "What Will We Take With Us?" featuring education leaders who rose to the challenge of tackling the COVID-19 pandemic. In our first batch of episodes, you'll hear from education leaders across the country about what they tried in 2020-2021, what they learned, and what they're taking with them into the school year ahead.
02:32 8/11/21
3 - What Will We Take With Us?: How Cudahy Prioritized Communication, Feedback, and Trust-Building to Support In-Person Learning
On this episode of What Will We Take With Us?, a series featuring our conversations with education leaders across the United States on how they grappled with the COVID-19 pandemic in K-12 education, Dr. Tina Owen-Moore of the School District of Cudahy highlights how the district focused on proactive and open communication, feedback, and trust-building with teachers, students, and the community to accomplish what at times felt impossible – all of which allowed for continued in-person teaching and learning throughout the school year.
18:44 8/11/21
2 - What Will We Take With Us?: How Hopkins Public Schools Maximized Inquiry Learning, Outdoor Spaces, Community Partnerships, and Feedback
On this episode of What Will We Take With Us?, a series featuring our conversations with education leaders across the United States on how they grappled with the COVID-19 pandemic in K-12 education, Ann Ertl of Hopkins Public Schools details the innovations made by this Minnesota school district, including the use of outdoor learning spaces, inquiry-based learning models, partnerships with community organizations, and an ongoing feedback model that allowed the school to adjust new practices. 
19:22 8/11/21
1 - What Will We Take With Us?: Dallas ISD's Take on Project-Based Learning, Community Connections, and Teacher PD
On this episode of What Will We Take With Us?, a series featuring our conversations with education leaders across the United States on how they grappled with the COVID-19 pandemic in K-12 education, Kristen Watkins of Dallas Independent School District shares with us the creative ways they developed to engage students through project-based learning, community partnerships, and family connections, as well as how they refined their personalized approach to professional development. 
13:07 8/11/21