CPS Showcase of Model School Programs and Promising Practices

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Thank you to all who participated in this year's event; October 12-13, 2017

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The Showcase of Model School Programs and Promising Practices, open to all members of the NEASC Commission on Public Schools and the  New England League of Middle Schools (NELMS),  featured topics related to Accreditation in K-12 public schools and career and technical schools/centers, including presentations from NELMS Spotlight schools.

Pre-conference, Thursday, October 12th
9:00 a.m. – 2:45 p.m.

View/download Pre-Conference program (PDF) >>

"A Vision for Learning: Using the Tools of Accreditation for School Growth"

The pre-conference will focus on elements of the new 2020 Standards, the redesigned Accreditation process, and how to use the tools of Accreditation to build structures for continual school improvement and growth.


Participants will attend either one full-day or two half-day sessions. During the half-day sessions, there will be a choice of three topics.

Program Topics
  • Building and Assessing Your School’s Vision of the Graduate (full-day session)
    Abby Benedetto, Deeper Learning Coach, Envision Learning Partners
    The new 2020 CPSS Standards ask schools to develop a vision of the graduate in addition to their core values and beliefs.  This vision for each graduate should include the development of transferable skills, also called 21st century learning expectations, necessary for future success. After creating a vision and defining these important skills, many schools struggle with how to create assessments that will adequately measure student progress toward proficiency.  Historically, assessment is the largest driver in public education-what gets assessed and prioritized. If we are to prioritize students thinking critically, working collaboratively, and learning deeply, then we must shift our systems of assessment to match these practices.  This session will use design thinking and rapid prototyping to provide participants with the opportunity to learn one model for more authentic assessment.  Beginning with the end in mind, the start will be with drafting or revising a graduate profile (vision of the graduate).  Participants will have the chance to prototype performance tasks that will build and measure student progress in the skills of the graduate profile.  By the close of the session, participants will have a draft of an overall system of deeper assessment, including a possible graduation portfolio, and defense of learning, as well as a plan to share with the school's community.

  • Building a Culture of Learning Based on Assessment of School-Wide Expectations (1/2 day session)
    Marine Science Magnet School of Southeastern CT, Groton, CT
    Looking for ideas about implementing or improving your school-wide analytic rubric system?  Gain tips, through this hands-on workshop, on how to ensure students, teachers, and parents understand the school-wide expectations for future graduates.  Hear about the five-year process that led this school to an exemplary assessment system embedded within the school's curriculum, instruction, and school culture.  Discuss the crucial difference between analytical formative rubrics and scoring guide rubrics, and learn how staff ownership is developed through professional development and collaboration.  Presenters will share a calibration method from Stanford University in order to facilitate common grading practices.  Participants will walk away with a roadmap to implement an assessment system that is understood and embraced by staff, students, and parents and a calibration system for consistent scoring throughout the school.

  • Mastery-Based Promotion and Essential Rites of Passage (1/2 day session)
    Francis W. Parker Charter Essential School, Devens, MA
    What happens when a school creates the conditions for students to own, demonstrate, and apply learning in formal exhibitions?  How do these experiences change the way students see themselves as agents of their own learning?  In service to a set of Common Principles, together with the threshold Criteria for Excellence, Parker holds all students to clear standards, values growth over time, and includes families as essential partners in these moments of transition.  Participants will be introduced to the big structures that undergird these public markers of student growth, as well as the smaller structures that make up the "how" of how it is done.  Participants will view video excerpts of students' gateways, engage in interest-based break-out groups, and be invited to imagine iterations of this work in their own settings.

  • NEASC 2020: A Vision for Learning (1/2 day session)
    NEASC/CPS Staff
    Learn how the new 2020 Standards and redesigned Accreditation protocol will support your school improvement process.  Participate in a hands-on dive into the new Standards.  Learn how the Standards support school improvement while incorporating important changes in education, for example, a more explicit emphasis on growth mindset.  In addition, learn how to incorporate the redesigned NEASC protocol into the professional life of your school.  The changes will make Accreditation a streamlined process that supports existing improvement efforts while ensuring that your school has the resources necessary to reach all learners.


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Showcase, Friday, October 13th
8:30 a.m. - 2:45 p.m.

View/download Showcase program (PDF) >>


Participants will attend three 75-minute presentations. During each session there will be a choice of six model school programs and promising practices, encompassing elementary/middle/high school, vocational and/or district programs.

Program Topics (click here to see descriptions of all Friday sessions)
  • 1:1 How It Is Done—or at Least How We Are Doing It
    Norton Middle School, Norton, MA
    NELMS Spotlight School

  • A Toolkit for New School Leaders
    Kevin Hurley Middle School, Seekonk, MA
    NELMS Spotlight School

  • Building District Capacity for Blended Learning
    North Providence High School, North Providence, RI

  • Career Enrichment: Preparing Students for College, Career, and Workforce Readiness
    Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School, Upton, MA

  • The Changing Landscape in the 1-to-1 Classroom
    Bedford High School, Bedford, NH

  • Clipper Time: Flexible Scheduling, Personalized Learning, Alleviating Student Stress
    Falmouth High School, Falmouth, MA

  • Creating a Community of Caring and Connection
    Somersworth Middle School, Somersworth, NH
    NELMS Spotlight School

  • The Evolution of the Academy Model at Essex High School
    Essex High School, Essex Junction, VT

  • Exhibition: An Eighth Grade Capstone
    Scofield Magnet School, Stamford, CT
    NELMS Spotlight School

  • Heterogeneity through Collaboration
    Suffield High School, West Suffield, CT

  • The Impact of Positive School Climate and Culture on Student Outcomes and Teacher Effectiveness
    Mountain View Middle School, Goffstown, NH
    NELMS Spotlight School

  • Implementation Not Implosion: Lessons Learned and Evolving Decisions in the Move to a Proficiency-Based Learning System
    South Portland High School, South Portland, ME

  • Implementing Presentations of Learning (POLs): Creating a Culture of Reflection
    Greenwich High School, Greenwich, CT

  • Implications of Developing Successful Competency-Based Learning
    Amherst Middle School, Amherst, NH
    NELMS Spotlight School

  • Integrating Technology Meaningfully to Enhance Mathematical Learning in K-12 Classrooms
    Portsmouth High School, Portsmouth, RI

  • Transforming with Inclusive Practices: Strategies to Support the Whole Child
    Jeremiah E. Burke High School, Dorchester, MA

  • Using Innovative Learning Spaces to Promote 21st Century Learning Across the Curriculum
    Bourne High School, Bourne, MA

  • Using Learning Scales to Track and Celebrate Student Growth and Align Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
    Montville High School, Oakdale, CT


Showcase Luncheon Keynote: Joshua Steckel
Friday, October 13th

Joshua Steckel joined us this year as the Showcase Luncheon Keynote speaker. Formerly a college counselor at a public school in Brooklyn, he is now the Senior College and Career Planning Manager, College Access for All Initiative at NYC Department of Education. Mr. Steckel is the co-author of Hold Fast to Dreams: A College Guidance Counselor, His Students, and the Vision of a Life Beyond Poverty.


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For more information

If you have questions about this year's event, or are interested in presenting next year, please contact:

Kathy Montagano, Associate Director, Commission on Public Schools
kmontagano@neasc.org  |  781-425-7760
Bill Wehrli, Associate Director, Commission on Public Schools
bwehrli@neasc.org  |  781-425-7718


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The annual Showcase of Model School Programs and Promising Practices is designed to give members the chance to learn directly from their peers at other member schools. The programs featured in the Showcase each year are based on current research, best practice, and the NEASC Commission on Public Schools Standards for Accreditation. View the programs from past events below:

View Showcase program archives (pdf):  2017  |  2016  |  2015  |  2014  |  2013  |  2012  |  2011  |  2010


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