Our search for Personalized Learning Plans

In February, our district started exploring Personalized Learning Plans (PLPs).   A group of teachers, administrators, parents, and students were charged with reviewing the topic and generating a draft action plan for the district.  I wasn’t the official scribe, but here’s my quick summary of what our group worked on…

1) What is a PLP?
It’s a Personalized Learning Plan,  (at some schools also called an ILP, or Individual Learning Plan).  Basically, it’s an individualized plan for each child.  The focus of the plan is usually academic in nature, but the purpose/goal of a PLP can vary.
2) What’s the purpose of a PLP?
Although they can have multiple purposes, they typically focus on these four core areas…
a) Career planning: documentation related to career interests, career inventory, and anticipated future course work
b) Data warehouse: collection of student specific assessments
c) Relationships: documentation related to the students personal learning styles, their likes/dislikes, and personal goals.  Most of the data is about getting know the child and building a relationship.
d) Interventions: documentation of specific interventions that have been used.  This includes course specific course related interventions as well as classroom specific interventions.
2) What are our schools currently doing that relates to this?
 First, all 8th grade students are required to complete a career planning activity through the state of Iowa’s I Have A Plan web site.  In addition, various schools are using their own unique forms which mostly track interventions.
3) What are other school districts doing related to PLPs?

We’ve put together two lists….
4) What’s our next step?
After reviewing all the general information, our current practices, and the examples from other districts, we have decided that our initial focus will be on using PLPs to help build relationships with students.  We’ll be conducting pilot tests using the built-in PLP section within Infinite Campus (our student information system).  We’re asking a few teachers to pilot test the idea with a few individual students.  A few of the key points we discussed…
  • We are encouraging teachers to type the results in Infinite Campus as the conference is taking place. The students in our group felt that trust is gained if the typing is done with the student present – making sure it feels like its being done with you, not to you.
  • Be sure to ask the student how they feel first, then the teacher can follow-up and add to it
  • Focus on the following questions and record them into Infinite Campus…
    1. What are your strengths?
    2. What are your needs?
    3.  What is your learning style?

2 thoughts on “Our search for Personalized Learning Plans

  1. Pingback: In search of Personalized Learning Plans « West Des Moines Community Schools Technology

  2. Pingback: Personalized Learning Plan examples from other schools « West Des Moines Community Schools Technology

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