GEVSD receives Visible Learning distinction


The Greenfield Exempted Village School District has recently become the first school district anywhere to be awarded certification in Visible Learning, a distinction that puts the district on the global map.

District director of instruction Alisa Barrett at May’s school board meeting highlighted the district’s years of work in Visible Learning, a concept based on the worldwide, years-long research of renowned educator and professor John Hattie, and announced that not only is the district the subject of a study by educational publisher Corwin Press, but has been awarded the distinction of a Level 3 Visible Learning + certification.

GEVSD is the first district to be awarded this certification as all other educational bodies reaching this level have been individual schools, she said. While Greenfield is the first district, the distinction puts them with schools across the globe.

“This certification honors the work and deep implementation of Visible Learning by all staff and students,” Barrett said. “We will be placed on the global registry of Visible Learning schools as the first-ever district to be awarded this certification.”

The district’s Visible Learning journey began with the 2020-21 school year. The first year started with learner dispositions and clarity in teaching and learning. Upon those Visible Learning foundations, the plan has progressed with students learning how to give, receive and use feedback in their learning process.

The purpose of the multi-year Visible Learning Plan is to make visible learners — students that are able to articulate what they are learning, self-assess their learning, and have a clear understanding of the purpose of their learning. Since its inception, Visible Learning has been a part of the educational experience in Greenfield for students, staff, teachers and administrators and is changing the district’s culture of learning.

“We are building a culture of Visible Learners who are able to self-assess, self-reflect and self-monitor,” said Barrett. “In a Visible Learning school or district, all staff and students utilize learner dispositions, are assessment capable, give, receive, and use feedback, and can apply their learning in new situations.”

A team from the district will accept the award and certification at the annual Visible Learning Conference, which is organized by Corwin Press, in July in Orlando, Florida.

A team from the district attended the 2022 conference in Aurora, Colorado last summer where 46 states and five countries were represented. The district participated in three presentations which showcased the achievements made thus far in the Visible Learning journey.

Since then, the district has become the subject of a study by Corwin Press regarding the district’s journey in Visible Learning. That study highlights the implementation and achievements of the program across the district, and showcases the changes in student perception of the learning process and how Visible Learning facilitates engagement and understanding in what and how students learn.

“Our work with Visible Learning is not finished, so receiving this certification only three years into our Visible Learning journey shows the dedication and commitment to deep implementation of the process by our staff,” Barrett said. “Together we are building a culture of Visible Learners.”

Angela Shepherd is a correspondent for the Greenfield Exempted Village School District.

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