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Academies in Action: Putting ‘Personalized Learning’ into Practice

April 5, 2021 | Jeffrey Good
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Each month, we take a moment to learn from the Academy Directors who are bringing the Acceleration Academies mission to life, day in and day out, by asking them to answer a simple prompt. This month, we focus on how personalized learning is used to help individual students meet their goals in a way tailored to their strengths, challenges and needs. We asked the leaders of our six academies across the nation, What Does ‘Personalized Learning’ Mean to You and Your Staff? Here’s what they had to say:


Personalized learning means using individualized data profiles with our graduation candidates (GCs) to help them understand their academic habits. By showing them the link between how they approach their courses and the results, we put our GCs in the driver’s seat of their own success.

— Diana Solis, Interim Director and Model Fidelity Coach, Bethel (WA)


Personalized learning means we assess each student’s skills and needs and then provide appropriate supports or differentiated approaches to help them succeed with their courses. Every student is different, and we try to meet them where they are.

— Wendy Thompson, Director, Clark County (NV)


Personal learning means providing layers of support. Advocates identify the emotional and personal needs of GCs; content coaches tailor the pace and academic support of coursework for each learners; and the career/life coach places courses in an order that maximizes the GC’s strengths and prepares them for state testing requirements.

— Laura Husnander, Director, Martin County (FL).


Personalized learning means that we customize our instruction and support to the specific needs and preference styles of the learner, fostering an individual awareness and relevance for each.

— Gina Montagnino-Fiske, Director, Miami-Dade (FL)


Each team member reaches out to our GCs on a regular basis and accommodate their schedules as needed. I have staff members who are working in the evenings and weekends because they want our GCs to succeed.

— Monetta Ruskin, Director, Sarasota (FL).


Personalized learning means that we take time to figure out the strengths and weaknesses of our students. We also try to identify the barriers that have kept our GCs from being academically successful in the past or may hinder their success in the future. We then work with each other and our GCs to develop the best ways to ensure that everyone at SLAA can own their success.

— Paige Latham, Director, St. Lucie (FL).