US's Leading Educators Visit Vista USD

Next Generation Learning Challenges

On October 10, 2017, 60 educators from across the country converged on Vista for a full day touring and learning with and from VUSD staff and student leaders. The educators were part of the Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC), a "community of forward-leaning educators who are working in their communities and together as a network on the most urgent challenges in public education today." The non-profit organization brings educators together and has helped to fund over $40 million in transformational learning leaders.

This is the second straight year that a team of NGLC leaders has visited Vista USD, and this year the focus was on learning about the district's short to personal learning. Explained Vista Interim Superintendent Dr. Matt Doyle, the NGLC visitors were, "celebrating with us this transformation from a teacher-centric model of learning to a student-focused model where students gain control of their learning."

NGLC participants kicked the day off with some overview information at the Vista Innovation Center before spreading out to visit elementary, middle and high schools across the district, before returning to the Innovation Center to collaborate and process their day.

Visitors had glowing words about what they have experienced and learned from the Vista team. Mayra Gende of Boston's Josiah Quincy Upper School said, "They were able to look at the bigger picture and say, "OK, if we want to do personalized learning, what do we need?" And they have this plan, they have a foundation where they need families and communities to be engaged."

Added Springfield Empowerment Zone's Matt Brunell, "I have yet to see a district that is approaching personalized learning in such a way where there's such cohesion that goes form the top down and the bottom up."

Beyond the strategic planning that the district has done and continues to do, student work and engagement was an area that stood out to the NGLC guests. "It was inspiring to hear the kids talk about it because you could tell that they were more invested in their education," explained Josh Charpentier of MAP Academy.

His thoughts were echoed by jenny Curtin of the Barr Foundation, who marveled at student work by saying, "to see MS students engaged in that level of depth of work and quality of work and really owning their own projects in such a deep way is really inspiring."

A video recap of the day can be seen here.