In the Spring of 2016, Trailside MS submitted an extensive application to become one of the first Personalized Learning schools in a pilot in Loudoun County Public Schools. The benefits of increasing student engagement, having more devices for students, and meeting students at the level they are at in order to advance their skills and knowledge were desirable; this is why Trailside chose to apply. Trailside Middle School was one of 5 middle school and 10 elementary schools chosen to be a Personalized Learning School, with the implementation beginning during the 2016-2017 school year.
One of the biggest challenges when going blended was encouraging students to take ownership over their learning. No more of a "sit and get" model, students are given choice and control over the pace of their learning. Teachers have overcome this by modeling what station rotation looks like, having individual conferences/check-ins with students, and being careful to be a guide-on-the side to students to put them in the driver's seat of their learning rather than merely giving them the solutions/answers.
Some advice for emerging blended-learning programs is go slow to go fast. Don't get discouraged when the utopian personalized learning classroom you envisioned is not playing out. Students need to learn this new way of learning, just as teachers do so give it time and don't be afraid to make mistakes along the way. Always listen to your students so that you can make adjustments along the way. They will be your best teachers as you pave this new path.
Welcome to Trailside Middle School, home of the Timber Wolves! Located 30 miles north of Washington, D.C., in Ashburn, VA, Trailside is part of Loudoun County Public Schools, educating over 1200 students.
Our Mission & Vision Statement: https://www.lcps.org/Domain/16198
What We Believe: https://www.lcps.org/Domain/15479
Contact: Bridget Beichler
Contact Title: Principal
Trailside Middle School
20325 Claiborne Parkway