Student Mastery Learning with Michael Sharpiro Transformative Principal 092

Michael Shapiro is serving in his second year as the principal of Highland Tech Charter School in Anchorage School District. A recent transplant from the Chicago area, he previously served as principal of Shepard Middle School in Deerfield, Illinois for seven years, during which time the school earned a U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon Award. Prior to that he served as an assistant principal for five years in two different schools. Mr. Shapiro began his educational career as a computer applications teacher and director of instructional technology. He is currently a doctoral candidate in Administration and Supervision at Loyola University in Chicago.

Highland Tech is a 6th–12th grade charter school that promotes personal mastery through student centered, individualized learning and varied assessment strategies. Student placement is based on academic ability, rather than chronological age, ensuring students are challenged each day. Students are encouraged to take an active role in their education and master core content and the skills necessary for success in the 21st Century. Technology integration and project-based assessments are critical components of Highland Tech’s rigorous model. 

  • Not one and done approach, focused on student Mastery.
  • Time bound, but a lot of flexibility.
  • Real-world project based learning.
  • Rubrics at every level.
  • Takes some time for kids, teachers and principals even to get used to it.
  • Lots of misperceptions in the community.
  • Reinventing Schools Coalition RISC
  • Different Levels - Standards and Rubrics
  • Kids can be in 8th grade math and be in 10 grade ELA.
  • Require up to Alg. II/Trig in math at Highland Tech.
  • Integrate levels as much as possible.
  • Paying attention to outliers.
  • Variety of assessments qualify for standards. Not just the paper-pencil type.

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