Hello Class of 2020 Students and Families,
As you already know, from your various experiences from the first three weeks of school, significant and exciting changes in education and learning are happening at WUHS. Two key drivers of these changes: Act 77 and the Education Quality Standards, have their origins in the Vermont Legislature and the Vermont Agency of Education and yet how these drivers will shape student experience at WUHS will be directed by our faculty, students and community.
You are a part of this process and I would like to invite you to the first of what will be a year-long series of information and discussion sessions at the school for members of the Class of 2020 (students and families). The first meeting will be Wednesday, September 21 from 6:00-7:30pm in the school library. The schedule of the other meetings will be shared once it has been developed from participant input.
To help answer some of the questions that people have already contacted me with and to provide context for the first meeting I have included some background information and a video link. I encourage students and families to watch the video together.
Please feel free to continue to email me your questions (firstname.lastname@example.org). I will organize them and sent out periodic answers to everyone. I will also use them as the basis for the information and discussion sessions.
I look forward to getting to know all of you during this exciting year at our school.
Garon Smail, WUHS Principal
What is Act 77?
Act 77 is legislation that was passed into law in July 2013 to ensure that all Vermont students have access to high-quality educational experiences that best prepare them for life after graduation. In the words of the Agency of Education, “We are placing students at the center of the construction and implementation of their own learning experience. Our role as educators is to facilitate that experience in a way that maximizes the opportunities for students… to graduate college and career ready.”
What are Vermont’s’ Education Quality Standards?
The 2014 Education Quality Standards (EQS) were established by the State Board of Education, these standards “ensure that all students in Vermont public schools are afforded educational opportunities that are substantially equal in quality, and enable them to achieve or exceed the standards approved by the State Board of Education… these rules are designed to ensure continuous improvement in student performance, instruction and leadership to enable students to attain rigorous standards in high quality programs.” These revised standards signal the intentional shift from inputs to outcomes; from a focus on courses and Carnegie units (seat time) to a focus on mastery of content.
Relationship between Act 77 and the Education Quality Standards
The alignment between the EQS and Act 77 is highly intentional. While Act 77 is primarily about the shift to personalization in the educational experience, EQS is primarily about the shift to the demonstration of proficiency. This alignment recognizes that personalization and proficiency complement and reinforce one another.
Follow this link for a student perspective on What’s the Deal with Proficiency-Based Learning?