Personalized Learning in KPBSD

Where do you want your learning to take you and how can KPBSD help you get there? #PLinKPBSD

Page 2 of 3

Book Talks Launch Today!

Professional Development 2017-2018 Series

An exciting opportunity for Teachers and Administrators for Professional Development in KPBSD is here! Book Talk Course registration is now open! Current book talks being offered are all directly related to personalized learning! They are 9-week, 1-credit courses offered through UAA that count toward both salary advancement and re-certification if they pertain directly to your teaching assignment. There is a different emphasis to each book, and something different to be gained from each one. There are currently 2 methods of participation available, so staff can select what works for their situation. The details needed to access and enroll in the courses can be found at the link below. Please contact Amanda Adams at or 224-9074 with any questions regarding the courses.

KPBSD Book Talk Series


Following up on Districtwide Inservice!

Following Up on Districtwide Inservice

Need the PDF Version? Click here! 

Link referenced: 2016-2017 Education Elements Impact Report

What is PL… with Skyview Middle School teachers

What is #PL… with Kersten Gomez, Redoubt Elementary

What is #PL… with Meredith McCullough, KCHS


Personalized Learning in KPBSD

What is personalized learning? #PL #empowers #KPBSD

Read or download PDF: KPBSD Personalized Learning




Welcome to a new year and PL in KPBSD

August 9, 2017

Dear KPBSD families,

Welcome to a new school year in the KPBSD! Our district is very excited to have all of our students, staff, and parents back in school. We are committed to meeting the needs of every individual student every day. This is an integral part of our overall philosophy of strong, positive relationships and providing a high quality educational experience for all of our students.

As the year begins, I ask you to think about how your child would answer this question,

“Where do you want your learning to take you and how can KPBSD help you get there?”

We want to directly connect your child to rigorous learning that is relevant and an excellent preparation for life, college, and the careers they will encounter after high school. The deliberate integration of personalized learning (PL) into every classroom in the school district over the next three years will accomplish this KPBSD goal. Personalized Learning in KPBSD empowers every student to reach their lifelong learning potential.

I recognize that you may have questions concerning personalized learning and what this will entail for your child or children. Please contact your school principal directly with your questions. Additionally, if you have questions, or want to learn more, please visit the KPBSD Personalized Learning Blog, and check out the FAQs. There’s also a link on the KPBSD homepage, and more information at the end of this letter.

We invite parents and community members to join us by volunteering in the schools and becoming involved in partnerships to support students. In order to be successful, schools need the help of parents and community members. It is also critical for our youth to know that their parents, guardians, relatives, and friends are supportive of their schooling process. A child without this support may at times feel at a loss to find the necessary focus to excel at his or her studies.

I hope to see you in the coming months and wish you a great start to this school year. We look forward to another outstanding year!


Sean Dusek, Superintendent

PL Core Four graphic 2017

Click to Learn more about PL, or read on:

Personalized Learning in KPBSD
Personalized learning shifts from a one-size-fits-all factory model of education to better prepare students for the jobs and needs of their future. The design of instruction and the classroom allow educators to respond to the individual needs of students instead of expecting students to fit the current mold or adapt to unsuccessful learning structures. PL does not replace teachers with computers. Many of our teachers implement elements of PL in their classrooms right now, and we will now build on this foundation to create an even better learning environment. Key elements your child will experience include:

  • Teachers offer flexible content and tools, which allow for  differentiated path, pace, and performance tasks based on individual student needs
  • Teachers use targeted instruction based on specific student needs and learning goals
  • Teachers use current and relevant data to help inform instructional decisions and groupings
  • Students engage in ongoing self-reflection that promotes ownership of their learning

When will PL formally start in KPBSD schools?

Every KPBSD school is doing some degree of work with personalized learning. However, the formal work of individual schools and teachers working directly toward personalized learning will be rolled out in three “waves” over the next year.


  • Wave 1 schools began their work in spring 2017, and will continue in the fall of 2017.
  • Wave 2 schools will begin their formal work with Education Elements in the fall of 2017.
  • Wave 3 schools will begin their formal work with Education Elements in the spring of 2018.

Personalized Learning webpage
KPBSD Personalized Learning Blog

Personalized Learning FAQs


Who is on the District’s Personalized Learning Council (PL Council)?

The District’s PL Council is comprised of educators across the district, representing a variety of grade levels,  geographic areas, and academic content areas.  The  PL Council’s objective is to help guide the district-level decisions and direction for what personalized learning looks like in KPBSD.


School District Representation:

  • Sean Dusek–Superintendent
  • John O’Brien–Assistant Superintendent of Instruction
  • Eric Soderquist–Director of Information Services
  • John Pothast–Director of Elementary & Secondary Education

District Specialists Representation:

  • Darci Drury–Professional Development/Instructional Coach
  • Melissa Linton–Curriculum Coordinator

Teacher Representation:

  • Kersten Gomez–Redoubt Elementary School
  • Jen Booz–Homer Middle School
  • Meredith McCullough–Kenai Central High School
  • Kim Leslie–Distance Education

Principal Representation:

  • Doug Hayman–Tustumena Elementary, Hope, and Cooper Landing Schools
  • Sarge Truesdell–Skyview Middle School
  • Trevan Walker–Seward High School


What is Personalized Learning?


PL Core Four graphic 2017

The most commonly accepted definition, from International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL), is:

Personalized Learning (PL) is tailoring learning for each student’s strengths, needs and interests—including enabling student voice and choice in what, how, when, and where they learn—to provide flexibility and supports to ensure mastery at the highest standards possible.

Personalized learning is the structuring schools, classrooms, and instruction so we can better respond to the individual needs of students, instead of expecting students to fit the current mold or adapt to structures that may not be successful for them. Many of our teachers implement elements of personalized learning in their classrooms right now. Key elements include:

  • Flexible Content and Tools: Instructional materials allow for differentiated path, pace, and performance tasks
  • Targeted Instruction: Instruction aligns to specific student needs and learning goals
  • Data Driven Decisions: Frequent data collection informs instructional decisions and groupings
  • Student Reflection and Ownership: Ongoing student reflection promotes ownership of learning

Personalized learning is about continuing and improving our shift away from the one-size-fits-all, factory model of education to better prepare students for the jobs and needs of their future. We want to directly connect students to rigorous learning that is relevant and prepares them for life, college, and careers they will encounter after high school, and create a system that supports this approach.

“The modern concept of personalized learning leverages technology tools, classroom organization, student ownership, and redefines the terms teaching and learning to help teachers truly meet the individual needs of students in their classrooms. Through this process, we create new classroom environments that allow students to do some work at their own pace, path and place, and some work directly with small group instruction from the teacher, which allows teachers to better focus instruction and target student needs.” –Kenai Peninsula Borough School District

Ask a question! Click this link to help build FAQs

Innovation and change in KPBSD classrooms

This seems like a lot of work, and for what? Why are we always being asked to change and innovate?



Sir Ken Robinson, a leading advocate for innovation in education, says that,

“Innovation is hard because it means doing something that people don’t find very easy. It means challenging what we take for granted.”

This is challenging work, but it is important work right now! We are preparing students for a world that is vastly different than it was twenty years ago, let alone the world in which our education system was first created over a hundred years ago. Our students are entering a global environment unlike any experience in the past, and are entering a workforce where the top employer expectations are more different than the “factory model” of the past. In a 2013 survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), the top five skills employers say they seek are:

  • Obtain and process information
  • Work in a team
  • Make decisions and solve problems
  • Plan, organize, and prioritize work
  • Communicate verbally with people inside and outside the organization

These types of skills are valued in today’s economy. Personalizing education for our students is a means to ensure our kids are not exposed to them for the first time once they leave school.

It would be better to describe this as a different process, in contrast to hard. We will still be using curriculum materials like we have always done, but they may be adapted differently. We will continue to use Professional Learning Communities to talk about student progress, but will have real-time data to help guide decisions. Good teaching has always put student needs at the center, and great teaching has always differentiated instruction for individual student needs—going forward we will have better tools and training to fulfill that promise to our students.

Ask a question! Click this link to help build FAQs

« Older posts Newer posts »