Friday, March 23, 2018

Team Building, Professional Development and Innovation

"A dream doesn't become a reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work." 
~ Colin Powell

Team Building and Professional Development

Over the past two years the Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton has been working diligently on developing a learning environment in which all students are provided a personalized learning experience. This past year we have accelerated our work of implementation.

To start the 2017-2018 school year the Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton School District engaged in a comprehensive needs assessment to gather data regarding staff needs to build their capacity for implementation. Through that assessment, we learned that our staff members yearned for three items to building their skills in personalizing education. Those three items were as follows:
  1. Staff members wanted to see personalized learning in action.
  2. Staff members wanted more support to provide training and ideas.
  3. Staff members wanted more time to develop personalized approaches.
On March 23, 2018 we were able to provide our staff the opportunity to see personalized learning and innovation in action as we visited the Waukesha School District in Waukesha, WI as organized and supported by the Institute for Personalized Learning. We had a full day of learning in which we visited various sites and engaged in a panel discussion with students, staff, administrators and parents. To view specific details regarding this experience, please utilize the links below.
  1. Itinerary -
  2. Site Locations -
This school year we added a personalized learning coach to our school district to provide support for our staff in the implementation phase. As outlined above, there is a desire for more support for our staff. Therefore, we'll be adding an additional personalized learning coach for next school year. By doing so, we will have addressed their number two need as listed above.

In an effort to provide more time for our staff as identified through the comprehensive needs assessment, additional prep time daily during the 2018-2019 school year will be implemented. By doing so, our staff members will have time daily to develop personalized learning approaches for their students.

Our school board is committed to this work and has aligned their resources to the strategic plan they approved. I am proud of our school board for recognizing the need for organizational alignment and providing our staff members with what they need to be successful in this journey!

With any change effort, it takes time. The end result of our work is that we'll be able to provide each and every learner with what they need, when they need it and how they need it in their journey to mastery of learning. As a staff, we understand that it will take hard work and dedication to accomplish our mission and vision. What you currently see in place at Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton is not the end product of what we envision when it comes to our work. We currently have components in place and continue to work daily on improving and creating iterations of personalized learning. If your student is struggling with various components of their education, please communicate with classroom teachers as they are always willing, ready and able to work with your student(s).

To learn more about Personalized Learning at Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton, please click here.


Over the past several years the JWP School District has been involved in many innovative practices. However, state statute and governance has not allowed our school district to completely disrupt the learning process to meet the needs of today's learner. Enter the Innovation Research Zones!

The 2017 Legislature enacted Innovation Research Zone Pilot project legislation that provides districts and charter schools an opportunity to test new ideas in K-12 education. An application may be submitted by one or more school districts or charter schools that together form an innovation zone partnership. The partnership may include other non-school partners, including postsecondary institutions, other units of local government, nonprofit organizations and for-profit organizations. Applicants are encouraged to think beyond continuous improvement of existing practices to try out and measure the success of innovative practices. Pilot projects must research and implement innovation education programs and models that are based on proposed hypotheses. The Innovation Zone plan may include an emerging practice not yet supported by peer-reviewed research.

The JWP School District worked collaboratively with the following districts and partnership organization:
  • Fairmont
  • Granada-Huntley-East Chain
  • Sleepy Eye
  • St. James
  • St. Peter
  • Tri City United
  • Waseca
  • South Central Service Cooperative
As information develops, the school district will be sure to keep all of you in the loop. This is an exciting time for the students of our district! It is great to be a Bulldog!

1 comment:

  1. Janesville brought energy, ideas, and enthusiasm to Wisconsin! An honor to host today's events.