Future Ready: Plan to Action!

By Jill Gildea (@drjillgildea), superintendent, Fremont School District, Ill.
We’re fortunate to live, learn, and lead in a time when our focus is on learner-centered and future-focused schools. With the incredible convergence of research surrounding a shift toward the learner-centered paradigm and availability of technology tools to support learners, we’re at the brink of an unstoppable momentum in transforming our learning environment to better meet the unique needs and aspirations of each learner. 
In order to bring our plans, ideas, and vision to life, we’ve leaned on several partners, including: AASA Personalized Learning and AASA Digital Learning Certification Programs, LELA (Lexington Educator Leadership Award Fellowship) with technical support from EdElements, CESA #1 and the Personalized Learning Institute, LEAP Innovations in Chicago, Education Reimagined from the Convergence Policy Institute and the DOE’s Office of EdTech - Future Ready initiative. The Future Ready Framework is based on the premise that high quality teaching infused with dynamic use of technology, personalized student learning is possible.
Fremont School District
As early adopters of Future Ready, Fremont School District 79 (IL) embraces the effective Future Ready framework to support student-centered and future-focused schools.  For the past two school years, we’ve participated in the Future Ready Interactive Planning Dashboard as an effective tool and process to document and measure our progress to date. The self-assessment/analysis tool has helped us to strategically plan and document our overall growth in readiness toward systemic support and launch of personalized learning.
Through our participation in the District Self-Assessment with the Future Ready Dashboard, we were named one of 45 district nationally to complete the “Dashboard Dash.”  And, this time spent in planning and preparation has been well worth our efforts.
The research-based framework and self-assessment asks your district stakeholders to review each of the “gears” or components. The 7 “Gears” to put into motion for Future Ready Schools are: Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment, Use of Space and Time, Robust Infrastructure, Data and Privacy, Community Partnerships, Personalized Professional Learning, and Budget/Resources.  These gears are centered around creating a supportive environment for Personalized Student Learning.  

 Fremont Schools

The framework is surrounded by Vision, Planning, Implementation, Assessment and Revision and is further encircled by Collaborative Leadership.  Through considering each of these components, assessing our attainment and our gaps, we’re seeing positive movement and momentum toward a learner-centered paradigm.
Personalized learning, central to the future ready schools framework, has moved from plan to action at Fremont School District 79. We’re thrilled to see 10 redesigned classrooms to implement learner-centered practices that provide rich digital learning, “just right places” to experience learning, and the academic, social, emotional, and behavioral supports necessary to prepare today’s child for tomorrow’s world.
For additional information, futureready.org, has detailed information, or contact me anytime at: jgildea@fsd79.org.