June 10 & 11, 2019
~ How Learners Advance Upon Mastery ~
Idaho’s Standards and IMEN Competencies, in Practice
Co-founder David Lipkin Presents at Idaho State Department of Education Conference
with IMEN Pilot School Silver Creek
Lipkin and the Silver Creek school team showed how they’re using LiFT to translate the Idaho Performance Task Template into rich project-based learning and assessments that Silver Creek is able to deliver, track, and report. Silver Creek shared how their learners advance upon mastery using LiFT for feedback/coaching, school-wide rubrics, and Portfolios of learner evidence.
The workshop sessions with LiFT helped answer the question, how do teachers work together to calibrate for reporting and grading? Participants were also able to see how Idaho Content Standards and Idaho Mastery Competencies can be incorporated in LiFT Portfolios so educators and learners can use feedback loops on standards as components of skills competencies, using Idaho’s seven levels of performance assessment.
A special highlight of the conference for SchoolHack was speaking with Sydney Schaef of reDesign and sharing stories about how mastery models across the country are forming in similar and varying ways.
May 20, 2019
Tracking Vermont’s Progress in Competency-based Ed and Personalized Learning
Vermont Information Technology Association for Learning Conference
Since 2012, Vermont has been one of the leading states in competency-based education. SchoolHack’s Kevin Hytten returned to one of Vermont’s hottest innovation hubs, VITA-Learn’s spring conference, to join educators and leaders sharing new approaches that best support the transformation to competency-based education and student-centered learning models. Hytten gathered directly from Vermont educators, technology integrationists, and school leaders their successes and challenges around proficiency-based graduation requirements, personalized learning plans, and flexible pathways. The most common challenge that was reported—creating and establishing competencies.
Supporting Portfolio-driven Assessment
LiFT and the Idaho Mastery Education Network
Three IMEN (Idaho Mastery Education Network) pilot schools are gearing up with LiFT to give learners greater ownership and responsibility of their learning and assessments. With LiFT Portfolios, rigorous expectations are put in place, learners document and track evidence of their learning, and then reflect how their work demonstrates proficiency. In this way, both educators and learners begin to move away from points, percentages, and grades in association with learning. Cassia, Silver Creek, and Union schools each take a unique approach to learner-centered and mastery learning, and SchoolHack appreciates how these pilots are putting LiFT’s new Learning Mastery System through its paces to provide deeper levels of learning.
Activate Next Gen Learning in Your Community, Classroom, or School!
New Release: NGLC’s MyWays in LiFT
Now available, MyWays in LiFT is a free tool for educators and schools to accelerate next gen learning in their communities. NGLC and SchoolHack converted the research, competencies, and principles behind the NGLC MyWays Student Success Framework into highly actionable resources, pilots, and planning tools. Educators can start right now to use the MyWays Competencies with learners by using LiFT’s:
Interactive MyWays Portfolios for learners to gather evidence of their learning and reflect on experiences
Teacher portal to provide just-in-time encouragement, feedback, and resources
Full MyWays Competencies progress tracker
Sign-up at www.schoolhack.io/myways
Designing the LiFT Learning Mastery System
Future Mastery School of Hawken Partners with LiFT
The Hawken School is nationally recognized for its programs that place students in the real world and engage them in solving authentic problems. The new Mastery School of Hawken, open Fall 2020, will take this innovative programming to scale; learners will have the opportunity to immerse themselves fully in this transformative approach to learning. SchoolHack is excited to work with Hawken leadership and faculty to shape LiFT’s competency assessment and portfolio system to meet the needs of this new truly project-based, personalized, and learner-centered Mastery School.
Building Relationships and Setting Goals
Springfield Empowerment Zone Partnership
The High School of Commerce is using LiFT with Pathways, their innovative program for all ninth-grade students. Designed to be a life-changing journey, the program helps learners design personalized Pathways to college and career success based on their interests. With LiFT, learners create their personal and academic goals, and teachers provide feedback and resources in order to support learner goals and strengthen relationships with faculty and staff, and internship partners.
LiFT Activates Next Gen Learning
NGLC, Next Generation Learning Challenge, Partners with SchoolHack
SchoolHack is thrilled to announce a collaboration with NGLC to create the free online resource, MyWays in LiFT, to support the efforts of educators, leaders, and schools moving to be competency-based and learner-centered. Together, NGLC and SchoolHack will translate the highly relevant research and conclusions of the MyWays Student Success Series: What Learners Need to Thrive in a World of Change into actionable goals and steps that educators can select and move through at their own pace. The MyWays in LiFT tool will also help educators and schools create action plans which outline how they will bring next gen learning resources and strategies to their communities.
August 3, 2018
STEAM Academy Transitions to Competency-based Learning
Greater Lawrence Technical School, MA
STEAM Academy teachers are building and curating competencies in LiFT Skill Portfolios so learners can collect, document, and track the evidence they’re generating in their transdisciplinary, real-world learning experiences. 9th and 10th graders using LiFT are able to see their progress and reflect on their learning as they solve real-world problems. Learners also strengthen their self-direction and independent thinking abilities by creating goals in LiFT that push themselves towards their best.
July 31, 2018
CBE Learning Design Primer
Be confident and bold in your competency-based learning design. Join our conversation on July 31st at 1:00 to take a look at our CBE Learning Design Primer. We'll discuss how you could use this “paint-by-numbers” guide to easily create a curriculum that's a personalized, competency-based picture of learning.
July 24, 2018
SchoolHack co-founder to present at Big Picture Learning’s 2018 Big Bang Conference
The Big Picture Learning model is rich with learner agency and real-world learning opportunities. As innovative BPL schools integrate project-based learning and competency-based assessment, it comes as no surprise that they see a natural fit with LiFT’s learner-driven workflow and native CBE architecture. This past year, SchoolHack and a number of Big Picture Schools launched successful LiFT pilots and we’re excited to continue partnering to make these models shine.
We’re especially excited to join the BPL community next week at #BigBang18 in Atlanta. Please join us for our learner-led session and to check out what learners of all ages are doing with LiFT.
Learner-led and Competency-based: Mastering the Balancing Act
A facilitated conversation with SchoolHack co-founder David Lipkin
Tuesday, July 24 at 3:00
Big Bang Conference 2018
In this learner-led, tech enabled session we’ll get hands on and address specific day-to-day challenges you encounter as you strive to keep learning authentic. Bring your favorite (or least-favorite) problems of practice. Are you exploring how best to track competencies? How to strike the right balance between learner-agency and rigorous assessment? Do you wish you had a better system to keep the focus on purpose and motivation?
It’s possible! As a warm up, we’ll launch our inquiry by looking at some of the inspiring projects and competency frameworks Big Picture learners and advisors have created using the LiFT software over the past year. Then, enrich your practice by hearing how your peers are approaching the same issues. Finally, you’ll be able to put your new ideas into action by using LiFT to create your own personal, professional or competency-based action plans that will keep you motivated and engaged on your learning journey.
June 19, 2018
Personalized Learning Plans for Healthy Identity Formation
Summer Webinar Series
Adolescence is a time of powerful change, as teens try on different identities and imagine possible futures. Educators have the opportunity to provide long-term benefits by supporting healthy identity formation. In this webinar we'll look at the "Why" behind developmental Personalized Learning Plans and look at simple, effective PLP strategies you can use to build agency, self-direction, and psychological well-being.
June 4, 2018
Foundations for Building Learner-centered & Competency-based Systems
New Summer Webinar Series
June 12th through August 21st - every other Tuesday
This free, 6-part webinar series showcases strategies that pioneers around the country are employing to implement competency-based, learner-centered culture and practice.
The series kicks off on June 12, at 3:00 EST hosted by Josie Jordan, K-12 educator, innovation coach, and co-creator of the LiFT learning platform.
Join Josie and guests for interactive discussions covering topics such as:
How to Create a Foundational Culture for Learner-centered Practice
Strategies to Successfully Transition Your School to CBE
How to Build Learner Agency
Mapping Your Competencies
How the CBE Lens Improves Instruction
Why Personalized Learning Plans?
Personalized, Real-world Project-based Learning
April 16, 2018
Big Picture Learning + SchoolHack
Leaner-Centered CBE Webinar
April 16th at 6:30pm EST
CBE Systems That Keep Learners at the Center
Join Big Picture Learning and the SchoolHack team to hear how educators are designing competency-based systems that sustain authentic learning. BPL principal Julia Bamba, from Gibson Ek in WA, and SchoolHack founder Josie Jordan will share lessons learned and practical strategies about mastery-based progressions, formative and summative assessment cycles, progress tracking, and authentic bodies of evidence. You will come away from this webinar with a better understanding of potential challenges and solutions to keep in mind as you implement or manage learner-centered CBE.
April 5, 2018
SchoolHack's Liam Corcoran to Present at AEROx Regional Conference in Bethel, CO
Workshop Title: Building Relationships and Self Awareness
Participants will spend time using a method called the Flower Process which provides a creative, fun and meaningful way to connect with others, reflect on who you are and who you want to be. Afterward, each person will walk away with instructions they can use to facilitate the process with any age group.
Presenter Bio: Liam Corcoran is obsessed with learning and creativity. Having experienced a variety of alternative and traditional learning models as a student has inspired him to pursue educational design and facilitation. He currently works for the self-directed learning ed-tech platform SchoolHack Solutions training practitioners all around the country while continuing his relationship and empowerment work with his local community.
March 15, 2018
SchoolHack's Josie Jordan to Present at New England League of Middle Schools in Providence, RI
Josie Jordan, PL Educator and SchoolHack President, will be presenting "If you build it, they will come: Culture and Personalized Learning" at the New England League of Middle Schools annual Conference in Providence, RI April 4-6th, 2018.
Program description: When shifting curriculum and instruction to be personalized, the classroom culture becomes essential. How can day-to-day routines build learner agency? Come practice strategies to create a learning culture that shifts the environment from teacher-centric to learner-centric. Leave ready to take steps toward a culture that fosters and sustains personalized learning.
February 1, 2018
SchoolHack's Josie Jordan to Present at SXSW EDU® Conference & Festival in Austin, TX
Josie Jordan, PL Educator and SchoolHack President, Kathleen McClaskey, Founder of Make Learning Personal, and Steve Normark, Founder of Learning Community Insight LLC will be presenting "Who's Got the Remote? Makin' Learner Agency Real" at the annual SXSW EDU® Conference & Festival in Austin, TX March 6th, 2018.
Program description: As curriculum, instruction, and assessment shifts to be competency-based and personalized, learner agency emerges as a necessity, how can we both hand over the remote, and help learners select the proper channels for their unique strengths and challenges? Or help learners push up the volume of their engagement and motivation? Experience how Universal Design for Learning (UDL) could be the remote that empowers learners to direct the what, how, and why of their learning.
November 6, 2017
SchoolHack's Josie Jordan to Present at the 2017 Christa McAuliffe Technology Conference
Josie Jordan, PL Educator and SchoolHack President, and Kathleen McClaskey, Founder of Make Learning Personal, will be presenting "Building a Culture: Your Foundation for Personalized and CB Instruction" at the annual Christa McAuliffe Technology Conference in Manchester, NH November 29th. The session includes details on shifting curriculum, instruction and assessment to be personalized and competency-based and how day-to-day routines build learning agency. The workshop will include proven strategies and techniques that create a learning culture that values every learner, harnesses the power of learner agency, and shifts the environment from teacher-centric to learner-centric. The session will allow participants to leave with first steps toward a culture that can foster and sustain personalized learning.
October 31, 2017
Josie Jordan, SchoolHack's President and PL Educator and Gabrielle Lumbra, Franklin Northeast SU's Teacher Leader, presented at iNACOL's annual symposium last week in Orlando, FL. The symposium, attended by thousands of personalized learning educators, administrators and policy professionals from North America, was themed Personalizing Learning: Equity, Access, Quality. Their session- "What it Takes to Transition to Competency Education" focused on a range of common challenges faced by schools during transitions to personalized, competency-based learning, including: educator buy-in, redesigning content curriculum in a competency framework, defining competency, establishing benchmarks, accommodating self-paced learning and strategies to communicate redesign. With years of experience in competency-based education and pioneering student-centered practices, Josie and Gabrielle gave educators systematic and strategic methods for shifting their schools and classrooms to a competency framework. Featured resources from the symposium can be found here.
October 16, 2017
Franklin Northeast Supervisory Union Using LiFT for Student Learning Journey
Franklin Northeast Supervisory Union- comprised of five elementary schools, two middle schools, two high schools and a career center- has implemented LiFT for its students in a shift towards true Personalized Learning including assesment and reporting.
According to Jody Vaillancourt, Co-Director of Instruction and Learning for the district, "We are using LiFT to hold a record of our students' learning journey from middle school, through high school, and to graduation. It allows us to truly embrace the Flexible Pathways promise of Act 77 in a concrete and meaningful way.
The fact that LiFT connects a student's PLP and proficiency verification allows both to work together in tandem to shape and support a truly personal learning experience. We are also using LiFT to track student progress toward proficiency, which has solved many of the issues related to grades that we were struggling with in prior years. Having the reporting tools in LiFT gives us a powerful base for a comprehensive, holistic reporting system.
Our high schools are transforming from a system that was tied to extrinsic motivation to one where students are truly self-directed in their learning. Students are able to use LiFT to more effectively self-evaluate their progress toward clear learning goals. The workflow cycle between teachers and student creates expert, reflective learners who will be ready for the challenges of career, college, and life beyond high school."
October 11, 2017
SchoolHack Product Director to Present at C3S Independent Charter School Symposium
Thierry Uwilingiyimana, SchoolHack's Product Manager will present on the panel "Peeling Back the Onion on the Civil Rights and Charter Movements" at the 2017 Independent Charter School Symposium in New York City October 11-13. The Coalition of Community Charter Schools (C3S) believes
"Our community-based schools educate all of our children including immigrants, people of color, the disabled, the homeless, English language learners, people of all faiths, and the LGBTQ community. We aspire to be great neighborhood schools of choice for the families we serve, and to remember that the wide-ranging needs of our students and their families are inseparably related to student achievement in school."
Thierry will help to address the issues currently facing charter schools across the country. Born in Rwanda, Thierry and his family came to the United States seeking asylum from the war-torn country. He earned his undergraduate degree in Engineering at Stanford University, and his MBA in Entrepreneurship from the Acton School of Business. His mission is to thoughtfully and faithfully utilize technology to humanize learning environments. http://www.c3s.nyc/icss17
October 3, 2017
PSI High School in Seminole County Florida Adds LiFT Platform to Innovative School Technology Program
PSI High of Seminole County is using LiFT to take its first steps towards creating a learner-centered school. Using LiFT for student-directed project based learning, PSI High will also use LiFT for assessing transferable skills for their graduation competencies. A number of schools in the district send area students to PSI High who will use LiFT to solve real business, community and social problems. Watch how Seminole County created this unique school concept and won the XQ Super School Innovation award. https://xqsuperschool.org/?gclid=CPnyrK-08tQCFZuLswodpAgFHA
According to Derek Jensen, Manager of Digital & Blended Curriculum, “Our teachers and I are increasingly enthusiastic about LiFT; it fits our program needs perfectly so we can work with students in amazing new ways.”
You can read more about the district's effort to move to competency-based learning here.
October 2, 2017
SchoolHack to Participate in Vermont Personalized Learning Plan Platform Fair
The SchoolHack team will meet with a number of Vermont educators at the Lake Morey Resort , in Fairlee, VT at an expo put on by the Vermont Agency of Education for various vendors of Personalized Learning Plan (PLP) platforms. We will be discussing and presenting our LiFT platform, originally created for Vermont schools and now in use by over 10,000 students and teachers throughout the United States. LiFT is a proficiency-based learning system that integrates PLP’s, project-based learning, evidence collection, formative feedback, and proficiency-based progress monitoring. We look forward to sharing these LiFT features and more with the Vermont Education Community.
“We chose LiFT because it represents a deep understanding of what learners and educators need to make Personalized Learning successful in our schools.”
— Owen Bradley, Principal, Whitcomb Middle High School, VT
October 1, 2017
Big Picture Learning School Gibson EK High School Implements LiFT
One of 56 Big Picture Schools across the US, Gibson EK High School in Issaquah, WA, recently added LIFT to its advisory framework. Julia Bamba, Gibson EK Principal, identified several reasons for choosing LiFT:
"We were looking for a student-friendly solution that would give students more ownership of their learning. LiFT allows us to easily give students that ownership. They are quickly able to create, add, and submit their projects for advisor feedback and review. We liked how LiFT puts students at the center, that the student experience is the most important. Last year, we used another technology platform, and it had so many obstacles for our kids. Some of our kids just shut down. They weren’t able to use the system through which they needed to submit their work so they gave up and as a result, they couldn’t get credit for their work. However with LiFT, we’ve seen that right away the kids are able to get into exploring their interests and careers. They rapidly get the hang of the platform and navigate it with ease. After their first introduction to LiFT, our kids loved it. The student training was so easy for them! They ran straight from the training and the very next day were able to move through the entire project process. I don’t mean to say LiFT is a simple product; it’s far more complex than that but, it really is simple for kids to get the hang of LiFT right away."
Big Picture Learning Schools operate across the country and believe that “In the schools that Big Picture Learning envisioned, students would be at the center their own education. They would spend considerable time in the community under the tutelage of mentors and they would not be evaluated solely on the basis of standardized tests. Instead, students would be assessed on exhibitions and demonstrations of achievement, on motivation, and on the habits of mind, hand, and heart–reflecting the real world evaluations and assessments that all of us face in our everyday lives. “ We are honored to be working with an organization like Big Picture who is dedicated to the true idea of personalized and student-centered education.
September 26, 2017
SchoolHack's Josie Jordan and FNESU Educator Gabrielle Marquette to Present at iNACOL's Annual Conference in Orlando, FL October 23-25, 2017
Working in close collaboration in an effort to share how FNESU is creating a true learner-centric system, Josie Jordan of SchoolHack Solutions and Gabrielle Marquette of Franklin Northeast Supervisory Union will be presenting "What it Takes to Transition to Competency Education" at iNACOL's annual symposium Personalizing Learning: Equity, Access, Quality in Orlando, FL next month. As Personalized Learning educators and pioneers, Gabrielle and Josie will discuss a range of common challenges faced during transitions to personalized, competency-based learning, such as: educator buy-in, redesigning content curriculum in a competency framework, defining competency, establishing benchmarks, accommodating self-paced learning and strategies to communicate redesign. For more information on the session and the conference, link here: https://www.inacol.org/symposium/
September 13, 2017
SchoolHack Solutions to Showcase LiFT at LearnLaunch Accelerator Demo Day September 25 in Boston
The future of Education is already here… at LearnLaunch. On September 25th, we’ll be one of 20+ edtech companies showcasing and sharing demos at LearnLaunch Accelerator’s Demo Day. We’re excited to share our revolutionary Personalized Learning Platform LiFT that is helping schools increase student engagement, improve college and career readiness and allow students to take control of their own learning. Find more information and a list of other edtech companies attending, here. http://bit.ly/2vYUDt3
August 9, 2017
Josie Jordan Teams Up with Educational Consulting Team for SXSW EDU 2018
Josie Jordan, Personalized Learning Educator and SchoolHack's co-founder and President, is working with Kathleen McClaskey, Personalized Learning and UDL Consultant, and co-author of "Making Learning Personal" and Steve Nordmark, Founder and Consultant of Learning Community Insight and Committee Chair of the Universal Design for Learning Implementation and Research Network, to offer a unique workshop opportunity for SXSW EDU 2018 attendees. Their session, entitled "Whose Got the Remote? Making' Learner Agency Real" is designed to help educators learn how to ignite learner agency and inspire and motivate learners and experience how Universal Design for Learning (UDL) could be the remote that empowers learners to direct the what, how, and why of their learning. See the session proposal and VOTE at http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/72513
July 31, 2017
SchoolHack to attend VPA Principals Leadership Academy
Ed McGuire, Schoolhack's Operations and Education Design Manager, is attending this year's Vermont Principals' Leadership Academy in Killington, VT August 1-3. The Summer Academy brings together administrators from across the State and includes speakers from across the US and interactive workshops throughout the three days. Ed McGuire served on the Vermont Framework of Standards, and the High Schools on the Move task force which produced 12 principles of personalized learning and became the basis for Vermont's Act 77. He is excited to reconnect with many of his previous colleagues as well as to meet many of Vermont's education professionals. https://www.vpaonline.org/Page/1
July 27, 2017
ANESU Uses LiFT for Expanded Learning Program
ANESU's (Addison Northeast Supervisory Union) Summer Expanded Learning Program is using LiFT with it's elementary students this summer to reflect on their learning together and share their work. Courses include Robotics and Circuitry, Culture and Language (including Mandarin, German and Spanish), Health and Wellness, and Art and Literacy. This district program runs through the school year and using LiFT this summer to capture the student experience and their evidence of summer learning will help to demonstrate the efficacy and successes of the program. “Our mission during the summer is first and foremost to provide quality educational opportunities for ANESU students that support family needs and student gains,” said ELP Director Mandy Chesley-Park. “The Expanded Learning Program has become an important extension to ANESU’s students’ education, and our work continues to be critical." You can read about the ANESU expanded learning program in a recent article here or follow their work on Facebook
July 18, 2017
SchoolHack Solutions to Attend Big Picture Learning Big Bang Conference
Thierry Uwilingiyimana, SchoolHack Solutions Product Director, will be attending the Big Bang Conference held in St. Louis, Mo later this month. Thierry will be working with Big Picture Learning schools to support their mission to personalize student's learning experience to align to student interests, talents and needs. "Every year, hundreds of educators, advocates and thought leaders from all over the world come together at Big Bang - Big Picture Learning's International Conference on Student-Centered Learning. There they convene with the most important component of authentic, student-centered learning: Students." We look forward to meeting with these students and educators to learn more about their important work and advocacy around personalizing learning. big bang 2017
July 13, 2017
3 Startup Lessons From Married Co-Founders- SchoolHack in the News
SchoolHack's CEO David Lipkin is the guest writer for this week's issue of EdWeek's Market Brief where he writes about the joy and inspiration in the founding of an edtech company with his wife and SchoolHack President Josie Jordan. "We were inspired by a vision of a healthy educational system that honors the uniqueness of every child." You can read the full article at: https://marketbrief.edweek.org/the-startup-blog/3-startup-lessons-married-co-founders/
July 10, 2017
Matignon High School to Implement LiFT for 2017-18 School Year
Matignon High School is a co-educational, independent Catholic high school serving a diverse student population dedicated to educating the whole person spiritually, academically, and socially so as to inspire compassionate and confident advocates for the greater good. We are excited to work with Matignon as they look to provide diverse learners with achievable standards to cultivate reflective practices so students can focus and show evidence of their learning.
By implementing the use of LiFT with the class of 2021, Matignon is looking to engage students in and outside of the classroom by forming a learning experience that puts the student at the center of his/her education, opening up a dialogue between students, teachers and administrators, and creating opportunities for further exploration outside the walls of the school. Matignon feels that by incorporating LiFT , "we will come to know our students more personally in order to help them achieve their spiritual, academic and social goals and will be promoting academic excellence as students become goal setters, reflective learners, and active participants in the community."
July 3, 2017
SchoolHack's Liam Corcoran to present at AERO (Alternative Education Resource Organization) Conference at Long Island University this summer
SchoolHack's Community and Support Specialist Liam Corcoran will be one of the presenters at the Alternative Education Resource Organization Conference: If Learner-Centered Education Is the Answer......What Is The Question? August 2-6, 2017 at Long Island University in Brockville, Long Island. His session entitled Amplifying Difference to Create Connections: Encouraging Individuality as a way to Build Community will focus on ways for students to connect with one another, discover commonalities and express their individuality. His session is designed to help educators to find the sweet spot in their classrooms between individualism and community that allows for engagement, collaboration and growth for all involved.
June 30, 2017
Thierry Uwilingiyimana, Product Director for SchoolHack Solutions, met with educators from across the U.S. (and beyond) at the ISTE Annual Conference in San Antonio, TX. Educators and administrators in school districts who are shifting their practices to be more student-centered had an opportunity to see LiFT in action and discover how LiFT's innovative features allow for a deeper understanding of student interests and goals and a way to personalize classroom instruction. We look forward to working with many of these schools in the upcoming year! (Photo courtesy of LearnLaunch)
June 29, 2017
SchoolHack to Participate in LearnLaunch Summer Edtech Showcase
In connection with the Building Learning Communities Conference, LearnLaunch Institute will host a showcase that will feature over 30 companies, including SchoolHack Solutions and other companies from the broader Boston education community. There will be pitches, demos, opportunities to play with and give feedback on our LiFT personalized learning platform, and a chance for educators to stand alongside others who care about ed innovation at this fun and inspiring reception in Boston's Innovation District. Contact us for more details or follow this link to sign up.
June 26, 2017
Champlain Valley Union Broadens its Use of SchoolHack's LiFT Platform for 2017-18 School Year
Champlain Valley Union High School (CVU) in Hinesburg, Vermont will continue to use LiFT next school year for Nexus students, the personalized learning program at the school. According to Nexus teacher Troy Paradee, the program was started last fall “for students to design their own learning based off of their interests rather than simply following a curriculum that teachers and adults provide for them.” Students in the Nexus program used LiFT to set goals, provide evidence of their learning and to reflect on that learning with their teachers. LiFT enables teachers to share resources with their students, provide feedback and assess the learning of each individual pathway a student chooses. (See this great video of an example of Nexus student Jacob Parker's project here)
For the 2017-18 school year, CVU will also begin to use LiFT in some of its advisory classrooms to manage the Personalized Learning Plan (PLP) process. Many schools are using LiFT as an advisory tool to help their students discover and develop greater self-awareness, self- confidence and critical life skills. As personalized learning is adopted by educators and administrators in districts throughout the country, SchoolHack is excited to continue to work with innovative schools like CVU- right here in Vermont.
June 6, 2017
SchoolHack Solutions to exhibit at ISTE 2017 EdTech Start Up Pavilion June 25-28, 2017
SchoolHack Solutions will be exhibiting in the Start-Up Pavilion at #ISTE17 in San Antonio, TX later this month. As a LearnLaunch selected Ed Tech company, SchoolHack will be connecting with other innovative educators, thought leaders and education companies at the world’s most comprehensive ed tech meeting of the minds. We will be sharing our LiFT software platform currently being used by thousands of students in middle grades and high schools around the country. Stop by to see us there or contact us to schedule a time to meet with our product director, Thierry Uwilingiyimana, at the show. We look forward to seeing you!
June 1, 2017
SchoolHack to attend National Charter School Conference Washington, D.C. June 11-14, 2017
SchoolHack Solution will be attending the National Charter School Conference this month - a learning and networking event for charter school educators, leaders and advocates. Over 4,500 attendees will share vision, practice and tools for improving educational practices in the more than 6,000 charter schools throughout the U.S. Contact Thierry Uwilingiyimana email@example.com to meet up with us at the conference!
May 2, 2017
Tennessee Department of Education Implements LiFT Educational Software Platform
Personalized Learning Platform Introduced for Learners and Teachers to Improve Postsecondary Readiness
We are pleased to announce the launch of a partnership with the Tennessee Department of Education to improve college and career readiness for Tennessee students.
The department’s college and career readiness work aims to improve and integrate existing information systems to empower Tennessee students, parents, and educators to make well-informed and timely decisions based on current, relevant information drawn from K-12, postsecondary, and workforce data.
As part of a $7 million grant from the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), TDOE will offer pre-selected pilot districts the opportunity to implement SchoolHack's LiFT™ software platform. LiFT allows students and educators to create flexible learning pathways connected to the unique interests and aspirations of every learner. “We applaud TDOE's leadership and vision in the decision to bring this innovative, personalized approach to their college and career readiness initiative," says David Lipkin, CEO and co-founder of SchoolHack Solutions.
LiFT, designed by educators with years of experience designing learner-centered systems, helps students create meaningful and motivating personalized learning plans. Students will use LiFT to identify their unique interests, skills, and strengths and match them with the most appropriate post-secondary resources, opportunities, and supports available. Ongoing progress monitoring of LiFT data will help educators, counselors, and the TDOE continuously improve their college and career readiness programs to meet the needs of every student.
The TDOE’s work to promote college and career readiness for all students is part of the Drive to 55, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam’s initiative for 55 percent of Tennesseans to be equipped with a college degree or certificate by the year 2025. Tennessee has implemented a series of nationally recognized initiatives aimed at helping students transition from high school graduation to postsecondary education. These efforts include providing financial support and mentorship through Tennessee Promise; sharing more guidance with students through AdviseTN; offering more early postsecondary opportunities and increasing the spotlight on students’ access to them through a new school-level accountability framework; and hosting focus groups with high school students to hear firsthand about their experiences and then sharing this in a public report. Additionally, Tennessee was named recently as a recipient of the highly competitive $2 million New Skills for Youth grant designed to build on locally and regionally led efforts through the statewide Pathways Tennessee initiative, which works to strengthen and expand education-to-career learning pathways for Tennessee’s students.
“Research shows that student engagement and ownership increase when learning is connected to their unique interests and needs; it’s about connecting learning to life,” says Josie Jordan, SchoolHack’s President and personalized learning pioneer. “We developed LiFT specifically to bring students, families, and teachers together as collaborators.”
April 24, 2017
SchoolHack Participates in Boston's LearnLaunch Institute Accelerator Program
Following a highly competitive application process, SchoolHack Solutions is joining eight of the "hottest" edtech companies from around the world to focus on our innovative technologies in order to transform learning and increase achievement in schools both here and abroad.
"LearnLaunch is dedicated to connecting, supporting, and growing the education technology ecosystem to drive innovation and transform learning. We are a vibrant community, delivering educational events, a selective accelerator program and a collaborative co-working space."
April 20, 2017
Kathleen McClaskey and Josie Jordan to present at Dynamic Landscapes Conference May 22, 2017
Two personalized learning pioneers are joining forces to present some of their important work in personalized and proficiency-based learning. The presentation, entitled: Building a Culture: Your Foundation for Personalized and Competency-based Instruction will provide an interactive session for educators who are thinking about or have begun this educational shift in their schools.
"As we shift curriculum, instruction, and assessment to be personalized learning and competency-based, the culture of the classroom becomes essential. How do our day-to-day routines build learner agency? During this interactive session, come practice proven strategies and techniques that create a learning culture that values every learner, harnesses the power of learner agency, and shifts the environment from teacher-centric to learner-centric. Participants will leave ready to take their first steps toward a culture that can foster and sustain personalized learning." See the full conference schedule here.
March 31, 2017
SchoolHack Solutions is joining the Highlander Institute, the Christensen Institute, and the Learning Accelerator to meet with the best classroom, school, and district administrators from across the country at the 2017 Blended & Personalized Learning Conference. This conference brings together educators and educational leaders that are working to bring implementation of blended and personalized learning strategies to their schools and districts. We look forward to seeing our friends and colleagues and meeting new innovators in Providence!
March 23, 2017
SchoolHack is excited to attend the School Redesign in Action Conference- the New England Secondary School Consortium’s eighth annual conference for educators and stakeholders from across the country. The conference is being hosted by the NESSC- a regional partnership that promotes forward-thinking innovations in the design and delivery of secondary education across New England. The five partner states—Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont—work together to close persistent achievement gaps and promote greater educational equity and opportunity for all students. to share success stories, exchange best practices, and continue to build momentum for innovations that will prepare all students for success in the colleges, careers, and communities of the 21st century.
March 21, 2017
SchoolHack Solutions and Personalized Learning in Vermont Featured in Hechinger Report Feature Story
"A Statewide School Reform Gains Fans and Concerns While Letting Students Learn at Their Own Pace"
Read the story about Vermont students and schools focusing learning around student voice and choice while using LiFT to power their learning.
March 16, 2017
SchoolHack Hosts LiFT Pioneer Gathering
On March 22, 2017, SchoolHack will host a discussion with LiFT pioneers and innovators from around the country to share ideas and discuss their transition to personalized learning. Facilitated by ACSD learning expert Judy Carr, the conversation will cover important topics including:
Competency-based curriculum design
Understanding evidence of learning
Reporting & Tracking proficiency
Identifying benchmarks and competencies
Creating personalized curriculum
Developing and fostering learner agency
Judy F. Carr is a senior consultant, facilitator, and instructional leadership coach with the Center for Curriculum Renewal LLC. She works with schools, districts, and statewide organizations to build systems to support high student performance through learner-centered, learning focused (e.g., competencies or standards and associated indicators) curriculum, instruction, and assessment design and implementation. Carr has extensive experience leading professional learning and working as a coach with administrators, teachers and teacher leaders in grades pre-K–12 . She was co-facilitator of Vermont’s first Framework of Standards and Learning Opportunities, and she has been an associate professor and scholar in residence in the Educational Leadership Program at the University of South Florida, Sarasota-Manatee. Carr was also formerly an Assistant Professor in the Secondary Education program at Trinity College of Vermont and a faculty member for ASCD, where she designed and facilitated national leadership institutes and created online courses and webinars for school administrators, teacher leaders, and district leaders. In 1995, she was recipient of the Second Annual Vermont ASCD Outstanding Curriculum Leadership Award.
Carr’s has long been committed to the three core elements on which LiFT is constructed – learner voice and choice, building on interests, and personalized and relevant curriculum. This includes collaborative work to design truly integrated, community-based studies and co-construction of curriculum based on defined learning expectations AND learner strengths, interests, and needs. She has worked with Reggio-Emilia inspired schools, two-person partner teams in the middle grades, and integrated high school ninth-grade “transition” programs, as well as with a variety of types of K-12 programs in small and large school districts. She works with teachers, school administrators and district leaders to build capacity for successful implementation by creating protocols, tools, and templates for district-wide design of curriculum, instruction and assessment; conducting curriculum reviews and supporting curriculum development; facilitating summer Leadership Institutes for school-based implementation teams and district leaders to plan strategic actions to bring learning expectations, personalized and engaged student learning and data-informed instruction to routine use in all classrooms. Carr has extensive experience conducting professional development through small and large-group facilitation, workshops and webinars for principals, teachers and teacher leaders, leadership seminars, and both individual and small-group virtual or on-site coaching with school and district administrators.
Carr is coauthor or coeditor of the following books and online courses: Leading Professional Learning: Building Capacity Through Teacher Leaders (ASCD, 2013); Leadership: Implementing the Common Core State Standards (ASCD, 2012) Leading for Inclusion (Teachers College Press, 2011); Improving Standards-Based Learning: A Process Guide for Educational Leaders (Corwin Press, 2009); Teaching and Leading from the Inside Out (Corwin Press, 2008); “A Pig Don’t Get Fatter The More You Weigh It:” Classroom Assessment That Works (Teachers College Press, 2007); Creating Dynamic Schools Through Mentoring, Coaching, and Collaboration (ASCD, 2005); Succeeding With Standards: Linking Curriculum, Assessment, and Action Planning (ASCD, 2001); How to Use Standards in the Classroom (ASCD, 1996); and Integrated Studies in the Middle Grades: Dancing Through Walls (Teachers College Press, 1993).
For more information, contact SchoolHack: firstname.lastname@example.org
February 23, 2017
SchoolHack Solutions to attend Mid-Atlantic Conference on Personalized Learning in Baltimore, MD
SchoolHack Solutions is excited to join Personalized Learning educators and leaders at the 2017 Mid-Atlantic Conference on Personalized Learning (MACPL) "Innovating Education For All Learners" in Baltimore, MD February 27-March 1, 2017. This conference is for those transforming education in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions of the US. Featuring more than 90 dynamic and interactive sessions focused on personalizing learning for K-12 students, Vermont educator and Rowland Fellow Gabrielle Marquette from Enosburg Middle/High School will be presenting "What it Takes to Transition to Competency Ed" on how Franklin Northeast Supervisory Union in Vermont is creating true learner-centric systems in transitioning from Carnegie units to a competency-based graduation framework. Along with Thierry Uwilingiyimana, Gabrielle will be discussing a range of common challenges in the transition to personalized, competency-based learning including: educator buy-in, redesigning content curriculum in a competency framework, defining competency, establishing benchmarks, accommodating self-paced learning, and strategies to communicate redesign with community members and parents. Learn more about the session here.
February 16, 2017
Thierry Uwilingiyimana joins SchoolHack Solutions
We are pleased to announce that Thierry Uwilingiyimana has joined our SchoolHack team as Product Director for the company. Thierry comes to SchoolHack as a former-founder and leader of two education startups. He co-founded ClassTracks, Inc. and worked with founders of Acton Academy to introduce to the area a progressive lower and upper elementary school built on Montessori principles. Born in Rwanda, Thierry and his family came to the United States seeking asylum from the war-torn country. Thierry studied at Stanford University with an undergraduate degree in Engineering. He spent several years in software development then received his MBA in Entrepreneurship at the Acton School of Business in Austin, TX. Since business school, Thierry’s work has entirely been and remains on meaningful integration and use of technology to realize the vision of student-centered and learner-driven environments. At SchoolHack, Thierry's focus is on product development and integration and he works closely with the SchoolHack management team in market and channel development.
February 9, 2017
We are so excited to join UP for Learning, a educational nonprofit dedicated to elevating student-adult partnerships in shaping Vermont schools, at the Vermont statehouse on February 15 as lawmakers honor the student songwriters who created the "Our Time" project. You can view their video and song here
Over the summer, a group of students worked with Cabot music teacher Brian Boyes and UP for Learning to create "Our Time," an original song and music video inspired by the Act 77: Flexible Pathways initiative. The students also worked with Ned Castle of the Vermont Folklife Center to produce a companion film, "Talking Our Time," about the process of creating the song and its resonance with the language of Act 77. The students are being honored at the Statehouse on February 15 with a resolution designating "Our Time" the official state education song, and will be meeting members of the House Ed committee, as well as holding a press conference. See the "Talking Our Time" video here
We are so proud of the students, educators and dedicated professionals who brought this vision to life and celebrate the amazing work of Vermont's Up For Learning organization!
January 23, 2017
SchoolHack Solutions to attend LearnLaunch "Across Boundaries" Event in Boston
SchoolHack is excited to be attending the LearnLaunch Across Boundaries conference which brings together educators, education administrators, technology innovators and an entire community who is interested in driving innovation to transform learning and increase achievement using digital technologies. Join us in Boston on February 2-3, 2017!
January 6, 2017
SchoolHack Solutions CEO and Co-Founder David Lipkin Invited to Participate in Education Reimagined's Pioneer Lab
SchoolHack's David Lipkin will be joining this month's Pioneer Lab with Kathleen McClaskey, Personalized Learning expert and co-founder of Personalize Learning. Together, David and Kathleen will be working with national leaders to influence and help steer the learner-centered education movement.
Education Reimagined, an initiative of Convergence, arose out of an 18-month dialogue to re-imagine education among 28 ideologically diverse practitioners and leaders. This group of innovators emerged with "A Transformational Vision for Education in the US" which sets out the fundamental transformation of the current school-centered education system to one that is learner-centered.
With the vision signatories now serving on the Advisory Board, Education Reimagined is committed to making learner-centered education available to every child in the US. This group seeks to accelerate the growth and impact of the Learner-Centered Education Movement in the United States, by:
Finding and encouraging learner-centered pioneers already at work in communities, school systems, policy arenas, and the education profession—to grow the number of active champions of learner-centered education;
Bringing diverse movement pioneers together who wouldn’t otherwise engage with one another and creating the conditions for their effective collaboration and innovation; and
Sharing the possibility of learner-centered education with a broad spectrum of education stakeholder groups—to attract new pioneers and to grow support for pioneering efforts.
We are excited and honored to be part of this pioneering group of dedicated educational professionals working together in this tremendous shift in education throughout the US.
December 12, 2016
SchoolHack Solutions featured in Addison County's Addison Independent
"Big growth and a big vision are powering start-up educational software firm"
MIDDLEBURY — A little more than a year ago, the SchoolHack Solutions had just one official employee and it was beta testing its personalized learning software with three schools in Vermont.
Today the Middlebury company boasts nine employees and its “LiFT” software has been adopted by 20 Vermont schools and a growing number nationwide.
And just recently the Vermont Economic Development Authority awarded the startup $350,000 in working capital through a low-interest loan.
For founders Josie Jordan and David Lipkin, SchoolHack is far more than a business. The husband and wife team — a former educator and former school-based clinician — envisions their product as a means to revolutionize education.
“Our mission is to help make learning an uplifting experience for all kids,” said Lipkin. “We know by understanding kids’ interests and needs and goals and the whole person that learning becomes relevant and their experience is more enjoyable. Therefore they learn better and faster, and there’s more motivation.”
November 23, 2016
SchoolHack Solutions ed tech design story told by our partners at Green River in Brattleboro, VT. It's the story of how we put student-centered pedagogy into LiFT- step by step.
November 4, 2016
SchoolHack Solutions Awarded $350,000 from State of Vermont
SchoolHack is excited to announce that the company has been awarded a new VEAC loan to help create jobs and to expand personalized learning in Vermont. The funding was awarded by the Vermont Economic Development Agency as part of a competitive loan review through the Windham County Economic Development Program. "This investment in SchoolHack’s Windham County operation helps to add high tech jobs which is aligned with our region’s CEDS,” said R.T. Brown, Project Manager for the Windham County Economic Development Program. “We are pleased to support an innovative Vermont company in taking the next step to succeed on the national level.”
November 1, 2016
Schoolhack Solutions Partners with The Cloud Institute for Sustainability Education
SchoolHack Solutions is pleased to announce our recent partnership with the Cloud Institute for Sustainability Education and have curated their Education for Sustainability standards (EfS) for use within the LiFT personalized learning platform. These powerful learning targets can be used to weave the sustainability mindset seamlessly into content area rubrics and transferable skills. This joining of EfS with personalization and proficiencies is an essential means to accelerate student ownership, civic responsibility, and community engagement.
October 12, 2016
Josie Jordan, President and co-founder of SchoolHack Solutions, will be attending the MassCue Fall Technology Conference in Foxboro, MA, October 19-20, 2016. MassCUE is co-sponsored by the Massachusetts Computer Using Educators (MassCUE) and the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents (M.A.S.S.). Both organizations recognize the benefits of a collaborative partnership that focuses on the collective interests of the state's school districts. Josie will be joining educators from across the Commonwealth and New England to share SchoolHack's innovative LiFT personalized learning platform. Stop by the Learn/Launch Innovation Space and say hello!
October 11, 2016
SchoolHack Solutions to attend the iNACOL 2016 Blended and Online Learning Symposium
Innovation for Equity + Redefining Success
David Lipkin, founder and CEO of SchoolHack Solutions, will be at the iNACOL Blended and Online Learning Symposium October 25-28 in San Antonio, TX. David will be participating in professional sessions and is looking forward to meeting with educators, administrators and friends. He would love to meet with anyone interested in learning about SchoolHack and LiFT- the easy-to-use but powerful digital system that enables teachers and administrators to implement strategies that connect students to academic achievement and career readiness. Email email@example.com or call us at 888.502.LiFT to schedule some time with David in Texas.
September 6, 2016
SchoolHack Solutions to attend first Roundtable at Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation
SchoolHack Solutions is honored to participate in the first Technology and Communications Roundtable discussion on September 22, 2016 at the Business Cluster Initiative in Brattleboro, VT. With recent State of Vermont Department of Labor funding, numerous education, business development institutions, and businesses fueling the economy of Windham County are working with the BDCC to support workforce and community development in the region. As part of this initiative, a new Workforce Development program will be launched this fall throughout all of Windham County’s public high schools entitled Fast Tracks to Success. This program provides local employers unparalleled access to the next generation of Vermont's best and brightest employees. LiFT salutes these efforts and looks forward to participating.
September 2, 2016
SchoolHack Solutions Welcomes Marvin Kendrick as Client Services Manager
SchoolHack Solutions is pleased to announce the appointment of Marvin Kendrick to the position of Client Services Manager for users of SchoolHack's LiFT Personalized Learning software. Marvin comes to SchoolHack with 12 years of experience at Green River of Brattleboro, Vermont in technical and user support management for web-based software. Marvin will work with schools to assist in their integration of the LiFT platform into classrooms and support technical aspects of the user experience. Marvin’s expertise with back end data, database management and custom data reporting will allow the company to provide important feedback to LiFT clients based on specific customer needs. Marvin's prior endeavors include commercial photography, 3 dimensional studio arts and the creation of fine gardens and stone walls in Southern Vermont and Southwestern Connecticut. He continues to take beautiful photographs and resides in Saxtons River with his wife and children.
August 22, 2016
Liam Corcoran becomes lead for Community Development and Support at SchoolHack Solutions
Liam Corcoran joins the SchoolHack team where he offers the student perspective, his personal experience with student centered learning and a background in human development and pedagogy. Liam entered a personalized learning program his senior year of high school and as a student of SchoolHack co-founder Josie Jordan, found a passion for learning and a desire to teach. Liam studied social entrepreneurship at Champlain College and developed a platform for personal and communal empowerment. A volunteer and member of the Community Advisory Committee at the Community Justice Center in Burlington, Liam brings his social and personal work to SchoolHack and will be assisting in the implementation of the LiFT platform to schools and organizations, helping the student voice be heard and connecting schools, learners and the outside community with one another. Liam is a lifelong Vermonter committed to empowering the local economy and environment, a passionate explorer of the outdoors as well as an artist.
August 8, 2016
Dr. Kevin Hytten joins Executive Team at SchoolHack Solutions
SchoolHack Solutions is pleased to announce the addition of Kevin Hytten, Ed.D. as Chief Operations Office to its Bristol, Vermont-based company.
"Kevin brings a wide range of qualifications to his role as COO which will assist us in steering our organization as we continue to grow" says David Lipkin, CEO of SchoolHack Solutions. "His professional experience in executive leadership, technology and operations management is a perfect fit for our expanding needs and he will be in integral part of the management team."
Dr. Hytten holds several advanced degrees in leadership, education, information technology and managing innovation. He has served as an administrator and educator in higher education at Syracuse University, the University of Vermont and Champlain College. Most recently, Dr. Hytten was the Chief Information and Operations Officer for a high tech virtual reality software company and a Senior Client Services Consultant in the healthcare industry. Dr. Hytten is a trained team building facilitator with over 20 years experience supervising and managing complex human resource and technology issues.
As Chief Operations Officer at SchoolHack Solutions, Dr. Hytten will oversee a wide-range of SchoolHack initiatives on both the client and technology facing sides of the business. "Kevin has a unique capacity to understand the technological intricacies of our product platform while at the same time bringing managerial leadership skills to our workforce", says Lipkin. "We are very fortunate to have him as part of our executive team and look forward to his work with both our customers and our professional staff."
Dr. Hytten lives in Shelburne, VT with his family and enjoys time with family, running, hiking, skiing, kayaking, Taekwon-Do, photography, movies, a house full of pets, driving with the top down, exploring innovative technologies, and tackling home improvement projects.
August 5, 2016
SchoolHack Solutions President and Co-founder Josie Jordan featured in Vermont Life's Autumn 2016 issue
July 21, 2016
SchoolHack Solutions Adds Gary Obermeyer to School Design Team
SchoolHack Solutions is pleased to announce the addition of Gary Obermeyer to its team of education professionals developing and marketing LiFT™ - the company’s student-centered, personalized learning platform.
“We are excited to have Gary’s expertise and creativity on our team” says David Lipkin, CEO of SchoolHack Solutions. “Gary brings years of experience supporting school improvement and understands the needs of schools as they shift to competency based education and build increased capacity for personalized learning.”
Obermeyer’s perspective on education includes 16 years as a classroom teacher while also serving in a series of appointed and elected leadership positions at the local, state, and national level of the National Education Association (from 1980-86 as a member of the Executive Committee). Since 1986, he has worked as a school change consultant with Learning Options - engaged in designing, developing, and delivering online networking tools and strategies aimed at building capacity for students, teachers, and parents to co-create learner-centered and community-connected schools.
“I am thrilled with the timing of this opportunity,” says Obermeyer, “the approach that SchoolHack has taken - putting the passions and interests of students at the center of the lesson planning process - is an essential starting point for personalized learning. I’ve explored many software platforms promoted as the answer to personalized, competency-based learning and have found LiFT to be in a class by itself, supporting whole systems. In particular, I can easily see how LiFT enables teachers and administrators to design/track professional learning goals and maintain portfolios for relicensure, reflection, and growth.
Obermeyer lives in Portland, Oregon, and will work with the Schoolhack team to bring this exciting software to schools and organizations throughout the Northwest.
March 9, 2016
Schoolhack Solutions President Josie Jordan appears on CBS affiliate WCAX Evening News
Josie Jordan, Personalized Learning teacher and President of SchoolHack Solutions, recently appeared on WCAX-TV's the :30 segment to discuss the LiFT™ Personalized Learning software platform being used in schools throughout the state of Vermont and across the country. Watch the full segment here.
October 7, 2015
Vermont's Push For Personalized Learning on VPR
Josie Jordan, President of SchoolHack Solutions and Tom Alderman, Director of Secondary and Adult Education for the Vermont Agency of Education discuss Personalized Learning on Vermont Edition with Jane Lindholm of Vermont Public Radio