Standards-Based Learning: Structures, Systems, and Strategies for Transformation @ Hampton Inn & Conference Center
Apr 2 – Apr 3 all-day
Standards-Based Learning: Structures, Systems, and Strategies for Transformation @ Hampton Inn & Conference Center | Colchester | Vermont | United States

Facilitated by:  Emily Rinkema and Stan Williams

Date: April 2 & 3, 2019

*includes 2-day institute, meals and the book:  The Standards-based Classroom.

Target Audience: Grades 5-12 Classroom Teachers, Special Educators, Administrators, Instructional Coaches, and other Educational Leaders

All schools in Vermont are currently grappling with what it means to be proficiency-based. One of the great things about our state’s approach to this progression is the autonomy our schools have to define learning in the context of their communities while staying true to the central tenets of Standards-Based Learning (SBL). Whether just beginning the transition, or a few years in, schools and teachers are quickly realizing that SBL is much more than how we grade, report about, and graduate our students. While these elements are essential, the true power of SBL comes in transforming what learning looks like in our classrooms and schools.

A transformation in learning requires more than understanding and intent; it also requires practical systems, structures, and strategies that support both teachers and students. In this two-day institute participants will explore the practices related to curriculum, instruction, and assessment that are essential to make learning the goal for every student in a standards-based classroom, and they will leave with systems, structures, and strategies to adapt and implement within their unique school and classroom settings.

Each day will consist of a balance of multiple structures:

  • Full Group Time: This will be used in order to establish common knowledge, build group understanding, and reflect on learning in order to plan next steps.
  • Breakout Time: This will be used throughout each day in order to let people have choice based on interest, readiness, and goals.
  • Team Time: If you came with a team from your school, you will have the option to work collaboratively towards your goals.

Participants will set goals early in the institute that will guide their learning and doing throughout the two days. While all will get an overview of the four components of a standards-based system (Articulate Desired Results, Develop Targeted Assessments, Design Effective Instruction, and Monitor &  Communicate Learning), each will have the opportunity to explore one or more areas in depth and with facilitation. Options for exploration will include KUDs, Learning Targets, Learning Scales, Collaboration with Special Educators, Summative Assessments, Formative Assessments and Practice, Direct Instruction, Differentiated Instruction, Grading and Reporting, and Communication with Families and Community.

563.3 KiB

About our Presenters:

Emily Rinkema is a Proficiency-Based Learning Coordinator in the Champlain Valley School District in Vermont, spending half of her time supporting standards-based instruction and learning at the high school, and half supporting the middle schools…..

Stan Williams has taught and worked in the Champlain Valley School District for over twenty years. Currently, he is a Proficiency-Based Learning Coordinator for the district and spends his time supporting standards-based learning and instruction at the high school and the four district middle schools….

Proficiency-Based Learning: A Framework for Clarity & Equity @ South Burlington School District
Aug 5 – Aug 9 all-day

Instructor: Michael Martin, Ed.D.

Dates: August 5 – 9, 2019   Time: 8:00 am – 3:00 pm

Includes the book: Understanding by Design (Wiggins & McTighe, 2005, 2nd Expanded Edition)


Target Audience: K- 12 Educators

Despite a great deal of innovation and hard work by Vermont educators, the current transition to proficiency-based learning (PBL) has raised a number of important questions about unit design, assessment, and grading. The purpose of this course is to provide structures and strategies that help clarify next steps for teachers and school leaders who are engaged in this work and are responsible for communicating this change to students, families and the wider community. The operating assumption is that proficiency-based learning will improve equitable student outcomes through greater precision, transparency, and relevance thanks to intentionally structured learning activities and assessment. The course will examine the importance of habits of learning, growth mindset, and how feedback practices can either help or hinder future growth. This course will incorporate a variety of resources, including Understanding by Design (Wiggins & McTighe, 2006) as a framework to help teachers create purposeful units driven by authentic assessment and inquiry. Participants will have time to learn through professional dialogue, examine their own assessment strategies, and apply PBL principles to their own work during the course meeting time.

Course participants will learn how to:
● explain the purpose of PBL in simple terms to students, families & community members
● assess transferable skills in concert with content-area proficiencies
● create a hierarchy of standards in order to simplify and clarify unit planning, assessment & reporting
● develop formative assessment strategies that are manageable for teachers

PBL Framework Summer19
PBL Framework Summer19
354.8 KiB
Michael Martin, Ed.D. is the Director of Learning for South Burlington School District and a Senior Associate with the Rowland Foundation. read more
Universal Design for Learning: A Framework for Inclusion @ South Burlington School District
Aug 12 – Aug 16 all-day

Instructor: Michael Martin, Ed.D.

Dates: August 12 – 16, 2019   Time: 8:00 am – 3:00 pm

Includes the book: UDL Now! A Teacher’s Guide to Applying Universal Design for Learning in Today’s Classrooms (Novak, K. (2016)


Target Audience: K- 12 Educators

Many schools are now turning to Universal Design for Learning (UDL) as a powerful framework for inclusion that also unifies important initiatives including but not limited to proficiency-based learning (PBL), social emotional learning (SEL), and a multi-tiered system of support (MTSS). Universal Design for Learning has been nationally recognized as best first instruction for all learners with its basic precept being to first remove barriers in learning environments before resorting to curriculum modifications and accommodations. UDL is a framework to advance equity because its research-based, learner-centered approach emphasizes engagement, access, and expression for all learners. But as a classroom teacher, where to begin? This course will provide teachers with a foundational understanding of UDL and actionable strategies for making their classrooms more inclusive. Course participants will deepen their understanding of UDL through course readings, professional dialogue, peer observations, and classroom practice.

Course participants will learn how to:

  • make meaningful connections between various school initiatives and the UDL brain-based guidelines
  • exhibit an understanding of how UDL strategies can improve outcomes for all learners
  • reexamine classroom norms & routines through an equity lens with an eye to engaging all learners
  • develop specific UDL classroom strategies for inclusion
  • improve learner agency through intentional strategies to foster expert learners
UDLflyer Summer19
UDLflyer Summer19
326.2 KiB
Michael Martin, Ed.D. is the Director of Learning for South Burlington School District and a Senior Associate with the Rowland Foundation. read more
Simplifying Fractions! Summer 2019 @ Montpelier High School
Aug 12 @ 8:00 am
Simplifying Fractions!  Summer 2019 @ Montpelier High School | Montpelier | Vermont | United States

Instructor: Betsy Allen. M.Ed., CAS

Dates: August 12 – 15, 2019 8:00 – 4:00 pm,  with Follow up dates Sept. 26 and Oct. 10 4 – 7:00 pm

Target Audience: Teachers Grades 3 – 8,  Special Educators, and interventionists

This 3-graduate credit course will explore the learning progressions and the standards progression of the Vermont Common Core State Standards along with current research on how students develop a deep understanding of fractional concepts.  Each participant will analyze student work to identify where students are on a learning progression, identify the common misconceptions, and then develop and plan next instructional steps. They will collaborate with other grade level teachers to strengthen and/or develop their fraction unit, including formative assessments and instructional strategies and lessons, with integrated technology.

Learning Outcomes

1. Participants will deepen their own content knowledge of fractions.
2. Participants will know and understand fraction content of the CCSS across grade levels and the shifts of content.
3. Participants will know the cognitive research about how children develop fractional concepts that is the basis for the learning progressions.
4. Participants will learn how to identify where students are on a learning progression and identify student misconceptions.
5. Participants will develop a variety of instructional strategies to promote student learning.
6. Participants will develop and/or strengthen a fraction unit of study and incorporate the use of formative assessments as an instructional strategy.
7. Participants will learn technology applications and games during the course so that they might incorporate them in their instruction.


About our Instructor: Betsy Allen is the District Math Coach in Essex Westford School District. Prior to this, she graduated from VMI and coached math at Hardwick Elementary. Betsy represented Vermont in several Smarter Balance Assessment projects.