2015 NESSC High School Redesign Conference – Presentation on Political Literacy

Dear CSC Students and Parents,

I wanted to send a big thank you to my current and former students for their recent participation in the High School Redesign Conference in Boston this past week.  The conference was sponsored by the New England Secondary School Consortium (NESSC) and the Great Schools Partnership (GSP).  These organizations both exist to improve the educational outcomes of all our students by promoting student-centered, personalized, and proficiency-based learning.


We had fifteen students attend the conference, and four who presented, which was the largest of number of students from any school in New England.  All of our students represented our school, our community, and their parents extremely well.  I heard numerous comments made about how professional, poised, well-informed, and engaged our students were and I cannot speak highly enough about their participation.


Our presentation, “No Citizen Left Behind: How Student Voice Transformed a High School Civics Course,” had three main goals:

  • Student Voice:  We wanted to share the story of how student voice improved the quality of the civics course I currently teach.

  • Political Literacy: We wanted to discuss how important it is for schools to help all our students become more ‘politically literate,’ which means acquiring the knowledge, skills and dispositions required to be a politically engaged citizen.

  • Proficiency-Based and Personalized Learning Strategies: We wanted to discuss the positive impact these strategies have had on student learning in the classroom.


I was extremely impressed by our student presenters, as were the many teachers and administrators who engaged in thoughtful conversation with these students after the presentations were over.   Perhaps the highest compliment given, was from Tom Alderman (Vermont Agency of Education).  Mr. Alderman invited our students to give testimony on innovative educational practices at the Statehouse at some point in the near future.


Once again, thank you to all our students who attended and thank you to all parents/guardians for supporting this trip and trusting us with your children for two nights.  I also wanted to extend a huge debt of gratitude to Amy Rex for the significant amount of work it took to plan and organize the logistics of this trip.  Simply put, the trip would not have happened without her support.  Check out the links below for some media from the trip.


Photos of the event – http://goo.gl/zzbNT2

Our Presentation Video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9z66HfUxEs

Go directly to the part of the video where students present – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9z66HfUxEs

Our Slideshow – http://prezi.com/ga5rrjjdocsr/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy&rc=ex0share