FRAMINGHAM – Walsh Middle School is ending its Summit personalized learning program at the end of the 2019-2020 school year, announced Principal Patrick Johnson to parents today, October 7.
Walsh was the only middle school in the Public School District to introduce a personalized learning program five years ago.
“Since that time, all Walsh staff members have received ongoing training in
project-based and personalized learning,” explained the Principal. “Four years ago, as staff visited schools using various personalized learning tools, one team of teachers became interested in Summit. The Summit personalized learning platform focuses on cognitive skills, habits of success, the use of standard-based grading, and the use of data by teachers and was ultimately adopted as an instructional approach that currently involves five teams at Walsh.”
Around the same time, the Framingham Public School District adopted Canvas as its learning management system for all schools and teachers.
“While not the same as Summit, Canvas also provides teachers the opportunity to personalize their lessons through an online platform.
Over the years, as we have worked to find the right approach to supporting all Walsh families’ requests regarding whether or not to place their child on a Summit team, teachers have graciously moved between Canvas and Summit as needed. During these shifts, teachers who had been using Summit were able to incorporate the essential components of the Summit model of teaching (use of rubrics, mentoring, feedback, emphasis on cognitive skills) into their lessons through the use of Canvas,” explained Principal Johnson in an email to families.
“Therefore, after careful consideration, we are excited to announce that over the next several months, our teachers will begin making the shift to Canvas as the single instructional learning platform.There will be no changes to your student’s platform this year. This will provide ease of collaboration within and across teams and grade levels while ensuring all students are still able to engage in personalized learning experiences,
as was our original goal. Our district has made an investment in Canvas by committing to another three-year contract,” said Johnson.
“I would like to acknowledge the years of work that all staff members have invested to improve student learning through the use of personalized learning to augment those irreplaceable face-to-face interactions that students will continue to have with our teachers. While the tools that we use to personalize learning will inevitably change, the skills and commitment by our teachers give me confidence in our ability as a school to continue to ensure high-quality, personalized learning for all students,” said Johnson.