By: Dr. Leighangela Brady, Superintendent, National School District (CA)

Dr. Brady shares a first-hand perspective from the Fall 2023 Learner-Centered Connections in-person convening in San Diego, CA where the cohort visited four innovative public schools and Illumina, a biotech company.

Hearing directly from a student ambassador panel at Bostonia Global High School in the Cajon Valley School District.

National School District’s Executive Cabinet team recently had the privilege of attending the Learner-Centered Collaborative’s Connections Convening, an extraordinary event held on October 9 – 10, 2023, in our vibrant city of San Diego, California. This event brought together a national cohort of school districts, all dedicated to addressing common challenges in education and fostering innovative learner-centered practices. For National School District (NSD), this was a deep dive into professional growth that promised insights, growth, and transformative experiences.

Exploring Innovative Practices

One of the highlights of our participation was the opportunity to visit four exceptional model school: Vista Innovation and Design Academy (VIDA) in Vista USD, Design39Campus in Poway USD, Conway Academy of Expeditionary Learning in Escondido USD, and Bostonia Global in Cajon Valley USD. These schools are at the forefront of implementing innovative learner-centered practices. The synergy between theory and practice was enlightening, reinforcing our commitment to fostering learner-centered experiences in NSD.

Industry Partner Engagement

As part of our journey, we also had the privilege of visiting Illumina, a prominent biotech industry partner. The interactions with professionals in the biotechnology field broadened our perspective on the skills and competencies needed for future work. This connection between education and industry is a testament to the importance of aligning teaching and learning with the demands of the workforce, ensuring that our students are prepared to thrive in a rapidly changing world.

Unpacking Our Learner Profile

Last year, National School District engaged in a collaborative effort, holding focus groups, and collecting survey input from our community to better define our vision statement of “Exceptionally prepared learners, innovative and compassionate world citizens” by creating a Learner Profile. The Connections Convening provided the perfect backdrop to compare our Learner Profile with the practical applications of learner-centered education in both school and industry settings.

Dive into the resource that best aligns with where you are in your Learner Profile development:
How to Get Started Developing a Learner Profile
5 Tips for Implementing Learner Profiles
Bringing Your Learner Profile to Life with Learners

Deeper Insights and Collaboration

Throughout the event, we had the privilege of debriefing with the Learner-Centered Collaborative team at the end of each day. These conversations pushed our thinking and encouraged us to further define our vision statement, ensuring it acts as a roadmap for action and growth.

Learn more about being part of a Learner-Centered Connections cohort and the school and industry visits.

The Road Ahead

We are excited to continue collaborating with our cohort virtually, building upon the connections we’ve made and the lessons we’ve learned. We also look forward to a second convening opportunity this spring in Nashville, Tennessee where we will once again have an in-person opportunity to exchange ideas, best practices, and innovative approaches with like-minded educators and professionals.

Interested in joining, hosting, or learning more about Learner-Centered Connections? Send us an email.

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