Case Study with Dr. Lura Hanks, Superintendent
As a newly minted Superintendent for a medium-sized rural district in Pennsylvania, Dr. Lura Hanks took the helm with a clarity around what matters for students and the best practices to support her vision. After a year full of uncertainty and change due largely to the global pandemic, Dr. Hanks set sail for uncharted waters with the familiar banks of strong curriculum, literacy, and effective pedagogy as her guide and in collaboration with staff. The navigation theme is key to her leadership and she reflected that COVID presented schools with a situation in which she and her crew, 200 staff members, found themselves in a boat in the middle of the ocean where “no landmarks existed.”
While Dr. Hanks knew the staff was working hard to support students, she identified inefficiencies in everyone rowing forward without proper coordination and collective efficacy. With a recognition of curriculum as the foundation for strong instruction and a focus on the district’s newly approved Portrait of a Graduate Competencies, Dr. Hanks sought out a technology partner whose platform was rooted in the highly respected, Understanding by Design (UbD) curriculum framework created by Jay McTighe and Grant Wiggins.
The first 90 Days with the Eduplanet21 Platform!
The Eduplanet21 Approach:
Ultimately, Dr. Hanks selected and partnered with Eduplanet21. Eduplanet21’s robust platform and services alongside professional learning opportunities from world-renowned author and researcher Jay McTighe, empowered educators in the Greencastle-Antrim School District to collectively plan and create standards-aligned units. In Eduplanet21’s easy-to-use platform, educators also have real-time access to online professional learning that supports curriculum design, with institutes in the areas of social-emotional learning, differentiated instruction, and more.
The district implemented “drop anchor days” every 6-8 weeks where teams of educators reviewed data, assessed progress against goals and checked to see if they were “on course.” These began prior to the adoption of the Eduplanet21 platform, and Dr. Hanks shared that the platform will allow them to do this more effectively and efficiently.
Through her guidance and access to Eduplanet21’s platform, Dr. Hanks shifted the focus from teaching standards to teaching students and truly creating a culture that empowers students and teachers alike to take risks and focus on outcomes. Now confident that learning can happen anywhere, the district has pivoted to monthly virtual workdays where students work remotely on projects designed to promote experimentation and project-based learning called Competency Immersion Days along with culminating Competency Exhibition Days to put that learning on display.
“Eduplanet21 stayed through the entire process ensuring a quality and professional learning experience and complete comfort with their software”Dr. Lura Hanks
When asked about Eduplanet21’s guidance and support of these new initiatives, Dr. Hanks shared that Eduplanet21’s Customer Success Team “stayed through the entire process ensuring a quality professional learning experience and complete comfort with their software. This platform will enable us to continue sailing to new waters with our theme this year of Moving Forward: Taking care of our children and our community.”
Want to learn more about how Eduplanet21 can help your school or district? Contact us and request a demo.