This case study features Cornville Regional Charter School (CRCS) and its learner-centric personalized learning methodology. Founded in 2012, CRCS is a charter program located in rural Maine, and the school serves 144 students in grades K-8. CRCS has fully integrated proficiency-based personalized learning into their curriculum. Personalized learning is a philosophy that uses student-centered practices and technology to integrate individual student interests and pacing into the curriculum, while following state and federal learning standards. Interviewees provide their insights and perspectives on the challenges and benefits of implementing a personalized learning program. The case study features interviews with (in alphabetical order):
- Susan Muzzy, Classroom Learning Facilitator
- Ashlee Savage, Teaching Principal*
- Kim Solberg, Parent
- Denyell Suomi, Teaching Principal*
- Travis Works, Executive Director/Principal
*Teaching Principals are classroom learning facilitators who take on additional administration responsibilities such as curriculum and instruction development, building operations, Charter Commission reporting and data analysis.
Video 1 – Introduction: Personalized Learning at Cornville Regional Charter School
School leaders introduce CRCS, its history, and a snapshot of the student body. Staff members provide an overview of personalized learning at CRCS and discuss the importance of providing learners, “what they need, when they need it.” This segment highlights how giving learners choice and voice in their educational experience prepares them to be independent thinkers.
Video 2 – Personalized Learning in Action: Providing Learners an Innovative and Customized Learning Experience
Personalized learning impacts the whole CRCS school day. In this video, instructors explain the model used in their classrooms to mesh a student’s interests with their individual learning targets. The segment focuses on how leaders track student progress against school and state standards, and it describes how instructors address the needs of students with disabilities. The video concludes with a discussion of the importance of learning coaches and their role in monitoring students’ academic and social emotional development.
Video 3 – Incorporating Best Practices: How Charter Schools Can Implement Personalized Learning
In this video, school leaders share some of the challenges of implementing personalized learning at CRCS, and they emphasize the importance of a growth mindset when tackling these issues. Some of these challenges include overhauling traditional school constructs, creating a learner-centered environment, and recruiting talent to the charter school. The segment also describes how teachers use the learning management system to not only track student progress but also to communicate student progress with parents and family members.
Video 4 – Conclusion: Personalized Learning Benefits Learners, Parents, and Communities
This segment explores the academic and social-emotional benefits personalized learning provides to students in both the short-term and long-term. CRCS school leaders explain how their combination of specialized programming and highly-personalized instruction results in improved student motivation, increased attendance, and greater independent thinking skills.
The content of this case study does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the U.S. Department of Education (ED), nor does any mention of curricula, trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsements by the U.S. government. This case study does not constitute a formal statement of federal law, legal requirements, or ED policy and should not be construed as creating or articulating the legal requirements or policy from ED.