October, 2018

Dear Winston Families, Colleagues and Friends,

The Winston Innovation Lab, in a long-standing collaboration with the National School Climate Center (www.schoolclimate.org), continues our commitment to the Lives Over Time Project. This initiative consists of a multi-faceted, longitudinal study focusing on understanding the long-term impact of the WPS model, identifying what our students retain after graduation, understanding what skills and traits are most tied to success, and how we, as educators, can apply what we have learned to our methods and programming to better prepare our students for a lifetime of success.

Last year, emphasis was placed on expanding our alumni base through the creation of a monthly alumni newsletter, building excitement about alumni events, and encouraging alumni to reach out with updates. This expanded alumni base will help us continue to support and learn from our former students. Recently, the Lives Over Time online survey was distributed to alumni dating back to the graduating class of 2000. Once the online survey is closed in late fall, the NSCC research team will coordinate in-person alumni focus groups to further investigate what qualities and experiences are tied to later success. In conjunction with the Lives Over Time Project and the Qualities of a Sustainable and Independent Learner Project, the NSCC research team will be conducting campus observations in addition to student and faculty focus groups throughout the fall to further document best practices as they relate to our approach to social-emotional learning and how that determines success of WPS graduates. This data will help us further develop tools and strategies for the classroom, inform individualized programming, and support our ability to facilitate the internalization and application of these tools and strategies post-Winston, further supporting our ongoing mission:

…to “facilitate the independence and meaningful participation of students with specific learning disorders through a Continuous Feedback System that develops skill acquisition and the Qualities of a Sustainable and Independent Learner. WPS also seeks to influence the field of education with research and implementation models that achieve these ends, in this way.”

December, 2018

Dear Winston Families, Colleagues and Friends,

Understanding. The first step in Winston Prep’s foundational Continuous Feedback System. Truly continuous, understanding is an ever-evolving process as both students and science grow and transform. The Winston Innovation Lab was developed to support WPS leaders and teachers in their aim to continually deepen and refine their understanding of our students in a scientifically-driven way, as well as to connect with the education community at large, establishing the WPS name as a leader in the field. We accomplish this through dedicated participation in research, collaborations and professional development. How do we link current science and understanding to the work we do each and every day? Through professional development programs such as Teacher Excellence and Leadership Development (TELD) and the newly launched Winston 101 program. Through projects such as the Faculty Learning Portal which acts as a virtual library of research and resources, connecting each of the WPS campuses as one collaborative community. Through our own in-house research and analysis. Through partnerships and collaborative initiatives with well-established organizations such as the National School Climate Center, the Child Mind Institute, the NVLD Project, and Landmark College.

Over the next few months we will be sharing an inside look on what each of these initiatives entail and how the Winston Innovation Lab connects each and everything we do to understanding our students in a meaningful and effective way.

January, 2019

Dear Winston Families, Colleagues and Friends,

The Winston Innovation Lab is dedicated to maintaining faculty excellence through professional development aimed at continually promoting our teachers’ ability to reach each individual student, contributing to a faculty development program like no other. The Winston Innovation Lab’s passionate commitment to deepening our understanding of our students by linking science to the work we do and then sharing that understanding with our campuses leads to an unmatched community of learning specialists working with our students each and every day. Here’s an inside look into two ways we’ve been doing just that.

We are excited to introduce a new program the Winston Innovation Lab has developed for 1st year Winston Prep teachers: Winston 101. Beyond campus-based orientation and professional development led by our leadership teams, first year teachers across campuses also have the opportunity to further develop a deep knowledge of Winston Prep’s foundation and educational philosophy and how we go about fulfilling our mission through a professional development series. Thus far, we have completed four presentations: Winston Is… where we had an in depth discussion of the WPS mission, Understanding and Developing the QSIL where we focused on deepening an understanding of each of the qualities and how to facilitate awareness, development and application of these skills in varying contexts, Understanding Assessment: Applying the Continuous Feedback System where we focused on understanding how to apply analysis of student responses to programming, and Understanding Assessment: Formal Testing where faculty took a deep dive into understanding formal testing measures and how that translates into the classroom. An emphasis has been placed on the importance of supporting a teaching culture that embraces curiosity, learning, and innovation; always striving to deepen our understanding of our students. The Winston 101 program invites questions and conversation amongst colleagues across our campuses, connecting all faculty in an ongoing conversation.

Another initiative which has been developed to connect all faculty and share in the ongoing learning and shared expertise is Winston Innovation Lab’s Faculty Learning Portal. Launched at the start of the 2018 school year, the Faculty Learning Portal was designed to be an ever-developing virtual library where faculty from all WPS campuses can learn from one another through shared research, tools and strategies, and recorded professional development presentations which includes our Winston 101 sessions. Additionally, the Faculty Learning Portal houses a Collaborative Problem Solving page where faculty members can start a conversation with the entire WPS teaching community, sharing the wealth of knowledge and understanding our dedicated learning specialists possess while nurturing the innovation that happens each and every day.

These are just two ways in which the work of the Winston Innovation Lab continues to nurture the development of our community’s understanding of our students through learning initiatives, research, professional development, and collaboration with the education community. Stay tuned to learn more about how the Winston Innovation Lab links current science and understanding to the work we do with our students each and every day.