Henry County Schools will receive $3.9 million dollars in continued grant funding, from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to transform the district to personalized learning schools. With six schools opening the 2015-2016 school year as personalized learning (PL) schools, they are: Hampton High, Hampton Middle, Henry County Middle, Locust Grove Middle, Luella High, and Luella Middle.
Also this fall, nine additional schools continue the redesign process. With a targeted opening for fall 2016, they are: Bethlehem Elementary, Locust Grove High, Luella Elementary, Mt. Carmel Elementary, New Hope Elementary, Ola Elementary, Stockbridge High, Unity Grove Elementary, and Woodland Elementary. Each school will be tasked with researching, visioning, strategic planning, and reaching out to community and parent stakeholders as they build their school redesign plans.
The Next Generation Systems Initiative (NGSI) is aimed at transforming districts into personalized learning districts. Only the largest 200 districts in the United States were eligible, with 20 selected for an initial grant. The original grant for Henry County was awarded in 2013. Today Henry County Schools is one of six districts pursuing this developing approach to educating students, and the only one in Georgia.
Currently Henry County Schools ‘Leadership Listens’ has three scheduled events for this fall:
- Thursday, September 17, 2015 – 6-8 p.m. – Henry County High School
- Thursday, November 19, 2015 – 6.8 p.m. – Dutchtown High School
- Thursday, January 28, 2016 – 6-8 p.m. – Locust Grove High School
The drop-in open house design enables citizens to meet district leaders, and school principals from the hosting and surrounding cluster schools. Of whom you may ask questions about the personalized learning transformation, district’s 2020 vision, arts, athletics, individual school’s progress or share thoughts, concerns, or ideas
Henry County Schools’ vision for PL; learners must play an active role and be given significant voice and choice related to what, when, where, and how they learn. They must be active, self-regulated participants in the development and design of their learning, and should co-create learning plans based on interests, strengths, passions, and aspirations.
Teachers play a crucial role assisting students with their learning plans, through classroom instruction, and interaction.
Superintendent Rodney Bowler expressed his gratitude:
“The work undertaken by our staff over the past several months has been no small task,” said Bowler. “The fruits of their labor is evident in the positive changes and resounding excitement coming from the classrooms in multiple schools across our district. As we continue to push forward in offering these same opportunities to all schools, this funding will assist with many of the efforts still underway in our first set of launch schools and beyond.”
Assistant Superintendent for Learning and Leadership Services Aaryn Schmuhl noted:
“The work of redesigning a school’s delivery model and focus, let alone an entire school district is a challenge we saw as necessary to ensure success for each of our students,” said Schmuhl. “The Gates Foundation’s support helps to accelerate the district strategic plan that has been in place for two years and will help us continue with our 2020 vision of all schools being personalized learning schools by the year 2020.”
Fifteen of fifty schools will function as a personalized learning school, or start the adjustment process this fall. Schmuhl added, “In the end, it is about reaching students and giving them what they need, when they need it, but more importantly, how they want it. Students have proven to be more engaged when they have a voice in their education.”
For more information on Henry County Schools Personalized Learning, visit here..