Superintendents Working to Expand Personalized Learning in K-12 Education Meet in Phoenix

James Minichello
703-774-6953 (cell)

AASA’s Personalized Learning Consortium Serving as Foundation for Schools and Districts

Alexandria, Va. – Oct. 29, 2018 – Superintendents and other school district administrators championing successful models of personalized learning environments are gathering at the Dysart Unified School District in Surprise, Ariz., Oct. 31-Nov. 2 as part of AASA’s Personalized Learning Cohort.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education Mitchell Zais is scheduled to provide welcoming remarks during the meeting’s opening session, hosted by AASA, The School Superintendents Association, and Dysart Schools.

“We know that personalized learning works because it emphasizes student choice, student voice, independent inquiry and instruction at the ability level of the student at any given time,” said Daniel A. Domenech, executive director, AASA. “The process of personalization is moving away from the industrial model, which goes back to the 19th century. I applaud the superintendents who will be joining us at this meeting.”

Objectives of the three-day meeting include:
  • Define the critical elements of personalized learning.
  • Identify specific focus areas of interest for personalized learning to support the work of the AASA Personalized Learning Cohort and members’ districts.
  • Develop plans to support each other and participants’ districts in the work to personalize learning.

During the meeting, attendees will have the opportunity to tour Shadow Ridge High School to watch personalized learning in action. Following the tour, a panel comprised of a student, parent, teacher, board member and representative from the business community will discuss moving from knowing to understanding the impact of personalized learning.

“The Dysart Unified School District is excited to welcome educational leaders from across the country to see examples of personalized learning in our schools," said Quinn R. Kellis, superintendent, Dysart Unified School District. “We are proud and honored to serve as the host site for AASA's Personalized Learning Cohort – a leading national voice in this important learning movement.”

Launched in 2015, the AASA Superintendents Personalized Learning Cohort has been bringing together visionary leaders who have personalized learning environments in their school districts. The professional leadership program provides superintendents with opportunities throughout the year to share successful models of personalized learning with an eye toward working as “critical friends” as actions steps are developed on behalf of local school districts.

“Superintendents from across the United States are working together to reimagine education,” said Gail Pletnick, past president of AASA, co-chair of the AASA Personalized Learning Cohort and former superintendent of the Dysart Unified School District. “To ensure students have the knowledge, skills and dispositions needed to be future ready, our schools must personalize learning. Educational leaders, who are a part of the AASA Personalized Learning Cohort, are collaborating to research, inspire, empower and amplify the work to transform education with a focus on creating student-centered learning experiences.”

During last spring’s cohort meeting, superintendents visited the Virginia Beach City School District in Virginia Beach, Va. (See related story: Reimagining Education Through Personalized Learning.) Watch a short video capturing highlights from the Virginia Beach meeting.

To learn more about the program, visit the AASA Personalized Learning Cohort web page, which includes AASA’s recently produced case studies featuring several members of the cohort. Superintendents and other school system leaders can also contact Mort Sherman, AASA associate executive director, leadership services, at or Debbie Magee, program manager, at

To join the conversation via Twitter, access the hashtags #LearnPLinAction and #AASAPersonalizedLrng


About AASA
AASA, The School Superintendents Association, founded in 1865, is the professional organization for more than 13,000 educational leaders in the United States and throughout the world. AASA’s mission is to support and develop effective school system leaders who are dedicated to the highest quality public education for all children. For more information, visit