I had the pleasure of having lunch with some of the leadership team from Richardson ISD this week which made me reflect on the implementation there and the success they are having. This district had so much readiness for the Engage! Learning Model (ELM) that shortly after their Coaches Academy team attended training in May of 2013, they were turning it around to teachers in the district with fidelity. I loved their energy and growth mindset from the outset. Their obvious belief in doing the right thing for learners and teachers resonated with me. We share the passion for recognizing the talents and honoring the gifts that teachers bring to their profession by providing the permission and the resources to lead amazing, challenging, standards-based learning experiences in their classrooms.
Richardson ISD is unique in a few aspects. One of these traits is the readiness I mentioned earlier and the way the Coaches Academy team led by Bob Devoll and Anne Marie Yarborough dove into the work to make sure teachers had what they needed to make a difference in the classroom right away. Another unique aspect to RISD is that the Board of Trustees has a vision for learning that is pervasive and forward-thinking. That kind of support is critical in times of transition.
Finally, one personal reason why Richardson is unique to me is because that is where my daughter, Karina, started school. She started in Kindergarten at Richland Elementary and had the most amazing first few years in the Richardson school district. She came to school reading already, and I was so thankful for her Kindergarten teacher, Ms. Cotton, who knew how to and had permission to differentiate for all students so that Karina was not stuck learning the letter of the week when she could read fluently or learning how to count when she could already count to 100. Instead, she learned to write stories and to solve problems and to interact effectively with others and to love school and see it as valuable. Of course, she would have been compliant and done exactly as she was told regardless, but I was thankful for a system that 12 years ago (Karina graduates this year and is currently 2nd in her senior class) was already well beyond one-size-fits-all and so focused on student achievement and creating experiences in the classroom that challenged all students. It makes me even more excited to be working with this awesome district and helping the leaders there increase the opportunities for students to be college and career-ready by taking engaging learning experiences to the next level.
engage2learn Learning Model
With the Engage! Learning Model (ELM), classrooms are transformed into dynamic learning environments that facilitate relevant experience for students that foster mastery of state standards. Engage! trains and equips teachers and administrators with the knowledge and resources needed to design, facilitate and lead these experiences so that students can acquire the hard and soft skills to be future ready.
ELM integrates a standards-based design process with seamless technology applications and design thinking to create engaging learning experiences for students. In our model, teachers become designers of authentic standards-based challenges grounded in the local community and they facilitate learners through our five consistent protocols to resourcefully and responsibly meet the challenge while mastering the standards. In the model, students gain content knowledge as well as the hard and soft skills to become college and career ready and thrive as contributing citizens and community members.
Engage! offers training and coaching packages for both campuses and districts who are interested in implementing the Engage! Learning Model. We train teachers we train teachers to lead their classrooms by creating a collaborative, autonomous, sustainable learning environment. We coach teachers as they grow as leaders, designers, and facilitators. We train and coach administrators as they develop learning organizations. We also provide ongoing support with virtual coaching and eStudio, a design platform and complete resource library for all of our clients that has a searchable database of units aligned to the standards for each grade level and course, student templates for each level, teaching videos for every aspect of the process, and a guided, interactive design process to implement and sustain the model successfully while collaborating with other educators across the state. We are thrilled to be serving over 100,000 students in visionary districts all across this state and seeing the results of increased student engagement, attendance, and achievement as a result.