Administrator: "A truly personalized school would have to have a phenomenal communication system - with parents, with community members. That is key. Both how we communicate within the school and outside the school. It needs to go beyond progress reports and grades."
Student: "As a student, I feel that the main depersonalization comes when students feel they have no motive for achieving - students are like disaffected employees in a large corporation - maybe they need to develop their own schedules, developing advisory but not forcing it, creating effective student government."
Educator: "The student-to-teacher ratio is one of the biggest impediments. Most people can't handle too many relationships. If we're going to expect teachers to do this, we need to alleviate their responsibility on the other end. They need TIME and training. Teachers want to have relationships with students but it's a time factor."
On High Standards
Educator: "We need to have clearly defined standards that everyone knows. Flexible time, ongoing assessments, algebra becomes a project that a group of students work on together."
Student: "Character development: responsibility, respect, curiosity, creativity … those need to be cultivated … kids enter school with preconceptions about what they are going to learn … it becomes a culture, rather than a standard."
Administrator: "In order to have high stands, curriculum needs to be completely revised, teachers need training to know how to do innovative things. We need the training and support to make the high standards happen."
Educational leader: "There are too many standards; it's a blizzard of information, it's mind numbing. They must be synthesized into real world applications of something you can actually do, not just fragments that mean nothing."
On Academic Engagement
Educator: "As a teacher, we have an opportunity to show the students there is true beauty. There is real world opportunity. Shame on teachers, if they do not jump on the opportunity."
Educational leader/Educator: "As educators, we need to make sure we are not shutting doors on kids. In math, we have to guarantee that doors are not shut whether they are college bound or not - it's opening up a world of possibilities for students."
Educator: "Ownership is looking to the future. Teachers need to be engaged. Evidence shows students applying themselves in school or through extra curricular activities. The curriculum has to stress the importance of knowledge, and what they intend to do with it."
School counselor: "We must treat learners as individuals, what engagement means for one, may not be the same for another. We would do a disservice to all students to treat them all as one - clumped together."
Educator: "Academic engagement begins when both a student and teacher become part of what is happening in classroom. Teacher comes up with short message of what they are delivering and students can actively participate from then on. The necessity should be able to be explained of every part of what is being taught. Why is students so disengaged and having other creative ways for earned credits for these disengaged students."
Student: "What would make it interesting - look and feel different? The relevance of what you are learning. Knowing what the purpose is. The connection between classes. Having creative environments - how the class is set up. Students want to be engaged and have a place in the classroom. So, physical arrangement. Individualizing for each student. Instead of the lack of relationships between teachers and students, having mentorships, small group work …"