Massachusetts Workshops

Sense of Belonging Offerings

LearnLaunch is excited to partner with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to offer professional learning services focused on increasing students’ Sense of Belonging. Sense of Belonging is the feeling that one’s authentic self is seen, valued, affirmed, and connected by/to the school and district. When students feel a sense of belonging at school, they are more likely to engage deeply in the learning process. Sense of Belonging is intricately connected with many other areas, such as school culture, student engagement, positive relationships, and others.

Our offerings support Massachusetts districts and schools to work toward sense of belonging by tapping into three key practices: building relationships, valuing and affirming diverse identities, and creating opportunities for engagement.

Massachusetts Department of Education

Team Workshop Series

Over the course of the year we will be offering workshop series. Each series, consisting of two three-hour workshops, will offer guidance and support through planning, implementing, and evaluating interventions to foster students’ sense of belonging. Participating teams will work with a LearnLaunch facilitator in a highly facilitated environment.

Building and Sustaining a Community of Care

These two three-hour sessions will focus on the why and how of creating sustainable communities of care for our teachers and students.  The series will focus on different types of relationships within the school community. With the guidance and support from a facilitator, each team will reflect on strengths and needs within their communities and craft an action plan that prioritizes student and teacher well-being in the 2022-23 school year. Teams will consider classroom-, school-, and district-level roles and strategies including how to sustain and amplify these practices throughout the school year. These two 3-hour sessions will be offered two weeks apart, to allow time for teams to gather information and insight between sessions to support their action planning.

Facilitated by Alisa Berger

Alisa Berger is an independent consultant working with schools, districts and networks who are looking to design and implement innovative programs that better meet the needs of students and works to create a 21st century system that would support deeper and more engaging instruction for all students. She is the co-author of the book How to Innovate: The Essential Guide for the Fearless School Leader, and is the co-director of the Deeper Learning Dozen at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Previously, she has worked in the New York City central offices as a Director of Leadership and Organizational Learning; as the founding co-principal at the NYC iSchool, a New York City public high school committed to rethinking high school for the 21st century;  as part of the design team for the Children First Intensive (CFI), a city-wide action research initiative designed to help build schools’ capacity to use accountability tools to differentiate, individualize, and improve instruction; and as the founding leader of the Mott Hall II school, a small, progressive NYC public middle school. Alisa received her undergraduate degree from Barnard College, her MA in curriculum design from Teachers College, Columbia University and her MBA from the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University.

Drop-In Workshops

Our 2-hour drop-in workshops, facilitated by national experts in the field, address a pressing topic impacting education.

 

We will be running more drop-in workshops in 2023. Come back soon to learn more!

Professional Learning Networks

Our professional learning networks provide personalized support to district teams for the entirety of the school year. Participating teams attend cohort meetings to connect with one another, learn from each other, and delve deeply into the topic of student belonging. Teams also work 1:1 with a LearnLaunch coach to examine their practice and move toward their unique goals.

Sense of Belonging Prioritization and Implementation: Policies, Procedures, and Practices

This network will support district and school leaders to make changes on a high level to support students’ sense of belonging. Teams will audit existing systems and structures, identify areas of need, and create specific plans to use policies, processes, and systems to build stronger student belonging. This network is most appropriate for teams that are interested in examining district-wide policies, practices, and systems. This network will consist of up to 15 teams, made up of 6-8 members (district representatives and school leaders). The network will convene for cohort meetings 5 times over the course of the year (every other month), and will participate in a site visit two times over the year. Each team will appoint a team lead to engage in 1:1 coaching on a monthly basis with a LearnLaunch coach. Participation is free for all Massachusetts schools and districts.

Building a Sense of Belonging through Tier 1 Instruction: Instructional Practices and Classroom-Based Experiences

This network will support school teams, with district representation, to design relevant and inclusive learning experiences to foster students’ sense of belonging. Teams will examine instructional practices on a classroom and school level that support students’ sense of belonging. This network will consist of up to 15 teams, made up of 6-8 members (district representatives and school leaders). The network will convene for cohort meetings 5 times over the course of the year (every other month), and will participate in a site visit two times over the year. Each team will appoint a team lead to engage in 1:1 coaching on a monthly basis with a LearnLaunch coach. Participation is free for all Massachusetts schools and districts.