Next Up Blog

Personalized learning, like so much of what we value most in our schools, should be aligned to the particular educational needs of individual learners – that’s what it’s all about. Success depends on the ways schools support teachers: providing them with effective professional development focused on making the plan work; embracing their iterations and experiments as they work to continually improve their practices; and ultimately putting them in the position to succeed in targeting instruction, interventions and enrichment, including with actionable information to support personalizing learning for all students. Personalizing learning in this way, and to scale, has great promise to transform our educational practices and substantially improve outcomes.

Classrooms that involve technology in providing instruction are frequently described as “blended.”  Educators working strategically with blended tools have raised the bar for enrichment of learning opportunities. For example, the Las Vegas Valley’s Pinecrest family of charter schools during the 2017-18 school year have used classroom technology to allow middle school students to interview subjects including some of the world’s most renowned surgeons, well-flown astronauts, accomplished journalists and A-list celebrities. Students also experience fun, standards-aligned “edutainment” lessons like exploring the interior of plant cells using 3-D animation.

Personalizing teaching and learning for all students leveraging technology requires broad, sustained commitments. This includes adhering to educational improvement strategies enabling teachers to connect with students in effective and engaging ways, allowing the differentiation for meeting each learner “where they are” in their own individualized trajectory of learning.

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This Thursday afternoon, May 17, join us for the fourth and final event in our Spring Speakers Series, as we celebrate the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision with two dynamic leaders for educational opportunity.

We are honored to bring the remarkable Gerard Robinson, President of the Center for Advancing Opportunity, a founding leader of Chiefs for Change during his tenure as Secretary of Education for Virginia and Florida, and chair of the Trump Administration’s education transition team, to the Las Vegas Valley, where he will share the podium with the Las Vegas Valley’s own impassioned champion for parental choice, State Senator Scott Hammond.

As always, this event is free to all with a reception in our courtyard immediately following.  Join us in our offices, 241 West Charleston Boulevard (behind Lola’s Restaurant), Suite 150 – abundant parking in any unreserved space in the lot.  Please RSVP to  Hope to see you Thursday.

Teacher Appreciation Week is all about recognizing the amazing educators who make the world go ’round every day in our schools.  Somerset Sky Pointe charter school’s seventh grade reading teacher Marcy Jacobs is one of those educators who really make a difference for her students in meaningful ways, and we are honored to recognize her and this crucial work for kids in the Las Vegas Valley.  Thank you for all that you do!

Today we are honored to spotlight Amanda Oddo remarkable 5th grade teacher at St. Frances de Sales of Las Vegas.  With the importance of STEM teaching and learning perhaps more important now than ever before, Ms. Oddo’s leadership, through innovative lessons her classroom and her own extensive research of the possibilities for STEM, make it a great pleasure to recognize her and her powerful work for National Teacher Appreciation Week 2018. Thank you for all you do!

In celebration of Teacher Appreciation Week 2018, Nevada Action for School Options is honoring some remarkable Nevada educators working across different kinds of K-12 schools.  Today we are celebrating Ralph Krauss, one of Pinecrest Academy’s two remarkable executive digital coaches. Ralph created and leads Pinecrest’s remarkable work leveraging technology to bring major national figures to connect with their students for interviews using live video links.  Among the diverse range of inspiring luminaries who have participated in this program to date thanks to Mr. Krauss’ work are actor Rob Schneider, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson, journalist Jackie Valley, Johns Hopkins Hospital neurosurgeon Dr. Henry Brem, and Holocaust survivor and author Ben Lesser.

Thank you for remarkable leadership, Mr. Krauss.