Winston Innovation Lab Updates

List of 19 items.

  • September 2021

    Dear Winston Families, Colleagues and Friends,
     
    Many have asked: How does the Winston Innovation Lab support our children? The Innovation Lab is an integral part of every Winston Prep campus. The Winston Innovation Lab (WIL) is dedicated to developing faculty members' knowledge of learning, learning disorders, and evidence-based methods of remediation. Having a faculty of expert learning specialists who deeply understand our students is an integral component of how we successfully fulfill the Winston Prep mission.
    Read More
  • May, 2021

    Dear Winston Families, Colleagues and Friends,

    Linking science and understanding to the skill remediation happening every day at each of our campuses is the work of the Winston Innovation Lab. Over the past few months, we have shared examples of formal professional learning opportunities the WIL provides the Winston Prep faculty such as the Teacher Excellence and Leadership Development (TELD) program and Winston 101.
    Read More
  • April, 2021

    Linking science and understanding to the skill remediation happening every day at each of our campuses is the work of the Winston Innovation Lab. Over the past few months, we have shared examples of formal professional learning opportunities the WIL provides the Winston Prep faculty such as the Teacher Excellence and Leadership Development (TELD) program and Winston 101. 
    Read More
  • March, 2021

    Dear Winston Families, Colleagues and Friends,
    Having a faculty of expert learning specialists who deeply understand our students is an integral component of how we successfully fulfill our mission. Winston Innovation Lab’s 101 professional learning program is designed to support campus leaders in preparing first-year Winston teachers to do just that. Dedicated to developing faculty members’ knowledge of learning, learning disorders, and research-based methods of remediation even before students step into a WPS classroom, Winston 101 is designed for all new faculty members and begins with an intensive summer workshop series, continuing throughout the fall semester. With WIL leaders presenting on various topics, first-year faculty members have the opportunity to learn alongside their peers from all WPS campuses. The summer workshops focus on immersing new faculty in understanding the WPS mission and philosophy by diving deep into the Qualities of a Sustainable and Independent Learner, the Continuous Feedback System, and the Neuropsychological Paradigm of Learning and Learning Disorders, while cultivating their ‘toolbox’ of knowledge, assessment, and best practices. The fall semester includes a 6-session series aimed at supporting the application of this understanding through current student case study discussions and evidence-based programming design.
    Read More
  • January, 2021

    Dear Winston Families, Colleagues and Friends,

    The Teacher Excellence and Leadership Development program has been a mainstay of the exceptional WPS professional development opportunities since 2013. A program designed as a mini-graduate school course by the Winston Innovation Lab team, the TELD program measures faculty members’ acquisition of the knowledge essential to becoming an expert learning specialist and leader at WPS. The program is open to any staff member who has completed at least two years at WPS and has been nominated by their Head of School. Throughout the calendar year, participants are provided with relevant readings, participate in bi-monthly seminars and discussions, and work to expertly incorporate knowledge into practice. The Winston Innovation Lab’s Special Projects Coordinator, Jaclyn Baharestani, spoke with Ella Gentile, Liz Sosa, and Ian Tigh, recent TELD graduates, reflecting on their experience and how participating in TELD directly impacted their work with students.
  • December, 2020

    Dear Winston Families, Colleagues and Friends,

    The Winston Innovation Lab’s ongoing Lives Over Time research has been integral to the development of the Qualities of a Sustainable and Independent Learner (QSIL), both as a skill set as well as an assessment tool. The Winston Innovation Lab works to develop student independence and success by supporting our faculty’s facilitation of explicit cultivation and application of the skills connected to the Qualities of a Sustainable and Independent Learner. We do this through the Teacher Excellence and Leadership Development program (TELD), Winston 101, the WIL Faculty Learning Library, and other various WIL professional development presentations and workshops. The Winston Innovation Lab continually emphasizes the importance of the QSIL and supports our campuses in developing these vital skills. Here is a clip of Brittany Rozen, one of our TELD graduates, demonstrating how the QSIL is explicitly integrated into a Focus session. When asked how the TELD program helped deepen her understanding of the Qualities of a Sustainable and Independent Learner, Brittany shared:

    Through course discussion and content reading, I gained a comprehensive understanding of how to identify qualities in need of remediation for each individual student, and I learned how to design programs to support this remediation. The TELD program is the classroom and the Focus cubicle is the laboratory. It’s the perfect environment for implementing the Continuous Feedback System so that we can truly meet our mission in helping students develop the Qualities of a Sustainable and Independent Learner.

    A special thanks to Cooper Spielman and Brittany Rozen for sharing a glimpse of their Focus class!
  • September, 2020

    Dear Winston Families, Colleagues and Friends,

    From moment to moment, Winston Prep leaders and teachers are applying the Continuous Feedback System, translating student responses into a deeper understanding of that individual learner’s strengths and needs, ever refining their programming to reflect that understanding. Throughout each day leaders and teachers are sharing this information with one another, allowing for an unmatched cohesiveness in understanding and explicit development of skills. The time dedicated to understanding our students once classes are dismissed for the day are an invaluable component to this continuous process.

    Winston Prep leaders and faculty participate in professional development on both a daily and a weekly basis. But many parents and professionals we speak to wonder: what exactly does this essential time entail? Here is a selection of how our faculty dedicates their time to deepen their expertise.

    Small Group Professional Development Presentations

    WPS campus leaders and faculty organize topics to present throughout the year. Several presentations and workshops are scheduled on a weekly basis and faculty members have the opportunity to choose which session to attend. These workshops are held both in-person and virtually and range from sharing and practicing an evidence-based learning strategy to developing a deeper understanding of how to develop mathematical thinking.

    Class Group Meetings

    Each week, class group meetings are scheduled for all instructors who work with a particular group. Led by the Academic Dean of the class group, a discussion centers on the cognitive and academic underpinnings of each individual student in the group, aiming to deepen our instructors’ understanding of the students’ learning profiles while discussing learning objectives, strategies and methods that are effective for each student and the group as a whole.

    Teacher Excellence and Leadership Development

    A program designed as a mini-graduate school course by the Winston Innovation Lab team, the TELD program measures faculty members’ acquisition of the knowledge essential to becoming an expert learning specialist and leader at WPS. The program is open to any staff member who has completed at least two years at WPS and has been nominated by their Head of School. Throughout the year, participants are provided with relevant readings, participate in bi-monthly seminars and discussions, and work to expertly incorporate knowledge into practice.

    Winston 101

    Another WIL professional development program designed for all new faculty members, the learning begins in the summer prior to students’ arrival in September and continues throughout the fall semester. With WIL leaders presenting on various topics, first-year faculty members have the opportunity to learn alongside their peers from all WPS campuses. The summer workshops focus on immersing new faculty in understanding the WPS mission and philosophy by diving deep into the Qualities of a Sustainable and Independent Learner, the Continuous Feedback System, and the Neuropsychological Paradigm of Learning and Learning Disorders, while cultivating their ‘toolbox’ of knowledge, assessment, and best practices. The fall semester includes a 6-session series aimed at supporting the application of this understanding through current student case study discussions and evidence-based programming design.

    WIL Faculty Learning Portal

    There are also resources for leaders and faculty to learn ‘on-demand’. An in-house virtual library, the Faculty Learning Portal houses recorded professional development and teaching resources from all campuses, WIL-generated summaries of recent research and how to apply this research to our work, and a live collaborative problem-solving page where faculty can pose a question or share an idea with faculty from all WPS campuses. The Innovation Lab also creates presentations for the Faculty Learning Portal to further support professional development. These presentations range from designing homework based upon current research to developing a deeper understanding of visual-spatial skills, how these skills support learning, and how to design programming to support the development of these skills.

    In addition to individual faculty members meeting with leadership throughout the week to continue ongoing learning, here is an example of what a teacher’s group professional development schedule might look like at Winston Prep:


    Type of Professional DevelopmentDescription
    Small Group: Strategy ShareObligation/Aspiration/Negotiation: A Method to Prioritize Tasks
    Small Group: Campus-Based Professional DevelopmentApplying Inductive Learning Methods to Support Connections, Comprehension, and Recall
    Winston 101Understanding NLD: Case Study Exploration
    WIL Faculty Learning PortalView WIL Understanding Working Memory
    Group 16 MeetingHow working memory impacts performance of students in this group and effective methods to develop these skills.

    Each professional development opportunity is designed to continually support our faculty in actualizing the WPS mission, facilitating the independence and meaningful participation of our students by implementing research and evidence-based models.


  • March, 2020

    Dear Winston Families, Colleagues and Friends,

    In the weeks prior to Winston Preparatory School shifting from our physical campuses to a virtual learning space, the Winston Innovation Lab was focused on supporting our leaders and faculty as we planned to continually provide our comprehensive educational program through Distance  Learning. One of the ways in which we have offered support is through the WIL Faculty Learning  Portal resource. Launched at the start of the 2018 school year, the WIL Faculty Learning Portal was designed to be an ever-developing virtual library where faculty from all WPS campuses could learn from one another through shared research, tools and strategies, recorded professional development presentations, and a collaborative problem-solving page where faculty and leaders 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.

    The WIL Faculty Learning Portal is a resource that is continually being cultivated based upon the needs of our community. Over these past few weeks we have focused this cultivation on sharing current research regarding distance learning best practices, remaining evidence-based in our programming and delivery methods, and demonstrating how to continue our skill-driven,  individualized learning online by highlighting examples of how to shift what we do in the physical classroom to the online environment. Also included in this resource is a collaborative problem-solving section where faculty can ask questions and offer feedback and suggestions specifically related to distance learning to provide community and collaboration amongst our teachers and leaders as we all work together to provide a successful learning experience for each of our students.
  • February, 2020

    Dear Winston Families, Colleagues and Friends,

    Qualitative analysis of our Lives Over Time research has revealed that variables such as social support and relationships, social-emotional health, self-advocacy, optimism, and self-awareness were characteristics present in successful individuals. WPS leaders work to integrate the findings of this ongoing study into WPS professional development, ensuring that our faculty have a deep understanding of this research and how to effectively target the development of these skills to benefit our students’ growth. One way in which we have integrated this research is through the development of the Qualities of a Sustainable and Independent Learner (QSIL), allowing us to specifically target and assess these skills.

    Rather than telling you what we do, here are a few clips from a conversation recently led by one of our teachers, Hadley Franklin, and a few of her students, discussing ways in which these skills are integrated into the classroom. Click here to listen in.

    Conversation Topic: Self-Reflection
    At WPS, Self-Reflection is thought of as the conscious knowledge of one’s own character, strengths, weaknesses, feelings, motives, and desires. One is thoughtful about how these factors influence actions and responses. Applying our Continuous Feedback System, students are continually and explicitly working towards developing an awareness of who they are as learners, how to most effectively reflect upon their responses, actions, and creations and how to apply their refined understanding of themselves to the next opportunity.

    Conversation Topic: Problem Solving
    Problems arise whether we are working to find a solution to a math calculation, making plans with friends, or searching for a lost item. When we talk about Problem Solving we speak to all facets – recognizing that there is a problem, stepping back to analyze the problem, coming up with creative solutions appropriate to the situation, following through with a solution, reassessing the situation, and developing alternate solutions if necessary.

    Conversation Topic: Independence
    A vital element to the QSIL factors is to support independent application of these skills. When appropriate, WPS teachers design situations where students can practice applying skills such as Problem Solving, Self-Reflection, and Self-Advocacy on their own, promoting self-confidence and independence.
  • January, 2020

    Dear Winston Families, Colleagues and Friends,

    The WPS Mission is 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.”

    In past updates we have shared how Winston Innovation Lab works to develop our students’ skills and independence through faculty learning initiatives, program development, research endeavors, and partnerships with like-minded organizations such as the National School Climate Center, Child Mind Institute, NVLD Project, Landmark College, NAIS, NYSAIS and NEASC. Beyond working within our own walls and with professional organizations on partnership initiatives, Winston Innovation Lab works towards influencing the field of education by sharing our philosophy, research, and implementation models with educators on a global scale.

    We have been invited to professional learning conferences to present on a range of topics that serve to both challenge the status quo of traditional education and illuminate the possibilities of innovative approaches backed by the science of learning. These conferences are attended by educators, learning specialists, advocates, clinicians, researchers, and parents from all over the world. We travel to places near and far, Boston to Portland, Switzerland to Latvia. Though attendees come from wide-ranging cultures and backgrounds, they all gather for one purpose: to enhance their practice and challenge themselves to learn something new and inspiring. Presentations such as Developing the Qualities of a Sustainable and Independent Learner: A Comprehensive Model, The Continuous Feedback System Applied to an Inclusion Classroom, Designing Collaborative Professional Development, and Promoting the Future Success of Students With Learning Disabilities, have afforded us an opportunity to share what we know, what we do, and what we witness every day in our classrooms and faculty development spaces. We demonstrate that facilitating the development of independence and meaningful participation of our students is not only possible, it is the fundamental part of a Winston Prep education. With each presentation, audience feedback confirms that the world is thirsty for what we have to share and we are fervently urged to continue our mission as true pioneers in the world of education.
  • December, 2019

    Dear Winston Families, Colleagues and Friends,

    We are reaching out about our special partnership with the Healthy Brain Network — a research project that enables families to receive a comprehensive mental health and learning evaluation for a child at no cost. Those of you who have been in our community for several years may remember when we first initiated this relationship, but for others this may be the first time you’re hearing about it.

    The Healthy Brain Network is a community-based research initiative of the Child Mind Institute, an independent nonprofit dedicated to helping children and families struggling with mental health and learning disorders. A key mission of the Child Mind Institute is to advance the science of the developing brain. They do that by generating large-scale data sets that enable scientists to learn about brain development, guide clinical practice, and develop objective diagnostic tools. The goal of the Healthy Brain Network is to provide the scientific community with data from 10,000 children and adolescents.

    If you elect to participate in the study now (healthybrainnetwork.org/contact/), your family could be seen at the study’s Harlem office by licensed Healthy Brain Network clinicians and staff for a comprehensive evaluation before the year is out. Participating families receive:

    • Study-related, comprehensive diagnostic evaluation, including intelligence, academic, social-emotional, and attention and reasoning skills assessments
    • Consultation with a licensed clinician to discuss results
    • Treatment recommendations and local referrals (if appropriate)
    • Feedback report detailing evaluation results that can be used to inform treatment and classroom instruction (504 plan/IEP), as well as College Board accommodations
    • Up to $150 compensation for their time

    If you decide to share your child’s feedback report from the study with Winston Prep staff, it will help us have a deeper understanding of your child and will directly impact his or her Winston Prep School plan.

    The Healthy Brain Network invites families of children aged 5-21 to participate, to receive the no-cost study-related evaluation and to be connected with community resources. Our partnership is a great fit because of the Winston Prep commitment to research-informed education and use of assessments to gain an understanding of students as individuals and to tailor the curriculum to their individual needs. You can learn about our mutual interests (healthybrainnetwork.org/wp-collab) or get evaluation and study details (healthybrainnetwork.org/details) on the Healthy Brain Network website.

    If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to Michele Heimbauer, Associate Director of Winston Innovation Lab, mheimbauer@winstonprep.edu or 212.719.5598 x2214.
  • November, 2019

    Dear Winston Families, Colleagues and Friends,

    Winston Innovation Lab believes in the power of partnerships with like-minded organizations such as the National School Climate Center, Child Mind Institute, NVLD Project, Landmark College, NAIS, NYSAIS and NEASC. Together, we are working to influence the field of education based on research. Today we would like to share an example of how a WPS partnership works to influence the field of professionals, highlighting our joint endeavors with the NVLD Project.

    Along with a select group of NVLD experts led by ​Dr. Prudence Fisher​ and funded by the NVLD Project, Elizabeth Mendelsohn has been working in an on-going way towards developing a standard definition of NVLD based upon current research data with the goal of inclusion in ​the ​Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). Winston Innovation Lab is exploring additional research initiatives in coordination with the NVLD Project as well as investigating educational opportunities to coordinate joint professional development presentations similar to the highly successful presentation ​at the Learning Disabilities Association Annual International Conference in Fort Worth, Texas: ​Nonverbal Learning Disorders: Linking Research to Practice ​(​Margolis​/Mendelsohn).

    Most recently, Winston Innovation Lab collaborated with the NVLD Project to create a presentation to help both parents and educators begin to understand Non-Verbal Learning Disability and how it can manifest in the classroom. The discussion includes common NVLD myths, strengths and weaknesses of those with NVLD, and instructional approaches and strategies. The presentation is available to the public to view on ​YouTube​ and will soon be available on the ​NVLD Project website​.

    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 while also working to influence the field of education, please visit us at ​winstonprep.edu​.
  • September, 2019

    Dear Winston Families, Colleagues and Friends,

    As students and families are in the process of settling into all September brings we thought it would be an opportune time of year to share the latest developments of Winston Innovation Lab’s ​Fostering Wellness​ Initiative. The work of the Innovation Lab supports how we assess,  understand, and help each student. Importantly, this includes wellness as part of a wholistic approach to individualized education.

    The ​Fostering Wellness​ Initiative began in the fall of 2015 where members of Winston  Innovation Lab participated in a panel discussion hosted by the National Association for  Independent Schools (NAIS), sharing data collected from a ​nationwide school wellness survey​ with other independent and public school leaders. This initial step was followed by various efforts to develop and support ​Wellness ​in the WPS community. For the past few years, we have continued to enhance our own ​Qualities of a Sustainable and Independent  Learner​ (QSIL) survey and implementation programs in coordination with our ​Lives Over Time ​research. We have also continued to measure our overall school climate by regularly administering the National School Climate Center’s (NSCC) Comprehensive School Climate  Inventory (CSCI). As we analyze the results of the CSCI conclusions confirm that we are providing a positive school climate for both our students and our faculty. The most recent  CSCI revealed that, though the WPS community received an overall positive rating, concerns of social media and digital citizenship have begun to emerge across the continent. In order to be proactive, we have expanded our relationship with ​Common Sense Media​ and will be infusing individualized and comprehensive Digital Citizenship lessons, directly linked to our  QSIL factors, for all of our students this fall. Lessons throughout the year will address topics such as Media Balance & Well Being, Privacy & Security, and Relationships & Communication.  Further, professional development will focus on these topics so that our faculty can better support the development of Digital Citizenship skills in and outside of the classroom.

    Another exciting way in which we are broadening the ​Fostering Wellness ​Initiative is through our partnership with ​Child Mind Institute​ (CMI). In an extension of our work with the Child  Mind Institute, we are collaborating with their ​research team​, developing Mindlogger, a smartphone app to help reflect and notice patterns in your child’s overall well-being.  Together, we are designing a unique parent survey where you will have the opportunity to see and track daily differences in your child’s mood and behavior from the answers provided to the survey. We expect that this will be a valuable tool for families and eventually students and their educational teams as we further develop possible applications and iterations. We anticipate enormous potential in the various uses of this tool – from figuring out what is impacting your child’s sleep habits to supporting students healthy responses to challenging situations. We also envision the capability of Mindlogger being connected to our Lives Over  Time research and Qualities of a Sustainable and Independent Learner development, further deepening our impact and ability to promote our students’ future success and independence.

    A great deal of research in the field has shown that school-based mindfulness practice can reduce stress, strengthen resilience, and improve academic performance. The bulk of this research has focused on typical learners or students with unspecified learning disabilities. As part of our Fostering Wellness Initiative we are taking a deeper dive into the benefits, looking at the relationship between mindfulness practice and individual learning profiles through analysis of student and teacher reflections and assessments before, during, and after students participate in formal mindfulness practices. We look forward to uncovering answers to questions such as: ​Does the magnitude of benefit depend on a student’s specific learning profile​? ​Are specific practices more effective than others based upon a student’s individual learning profile​? ​Do specific ​Qualities of a Sustainable and Independent Learner​ develop when implementing a regular mindfulness practice​? Exploring these questions will help us further refine our programming, allowing for continued deepening of our ability to support  WPS students as they develop into successful and independent learners. 

    The ​Fostering Wellness​ Initiative is just one of the ways in which the work of the Winston  Innovation Lab continues to nurture our community, deepening our understanding of ways in which we can support our students’ journeys towards independence and success. 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, please visit us at ​winstonprep.edu.
  • May, 2019

    WPS PROFESSIONAL COLLABORATIONS LANDMARK COLLEGE

    Dear Winston Families, Colleagues and Friends,

    Aligned with the WPS mission, the Winston Innovation Lab is dedicated to providing programming that allows our students to become independent learners while influencing the field of education. One way in which the Innovation Lab team does this is through our partnership with Landmark College.

    WPS and Landmark College have partnered on a variety of projects and collaborations to influence the field of education as we explore ways in which we can eradicate the achievement gap between high school and college for all learners. Most recently, Elizabeth Mendelsohn joined a group of experts in San Francisco to present Promoting the Future Success of Students with Learning Disabilities at Landmark College’s Winter Institute. This Institute brought together educators from across the nation who were focused on the transitional periods between high school, college and beyond.

    Closer to home, the participation and development of the Landmark College Dual Enrollment program is one way in which the Winston Innovation Lab aims to specifically facilitate the growth of the Qualities of an Independent Learner in each of our students as these are the skills that matter most. When appropriate, WPS juniors, seniors and Transitions students have the opportunity to enroll in online college courses such as Creative Writing, Introduction to Sociology, Humanities II: Renaissance to the Present, Web Design and Development, Introduction to Business, and Introduction to Programming. Participation affords students practice applying valuable skills such as self-advocacy, self-reflection, problem-solving, time management and organization, self-regulation, and social communication skills with the support of their Winston Prep team.

    By participating in this program, students gain experience in their ability to interact with college professors, gain a sense of expectations for college class demands, work collaboratively with peer-directed groups, and learn more about their individual learning needs and strengths within a real-world context while setting goals and establishing a means to achieve these goals within the supportive WPS environment. Concurrently, it helps Winston educators deepen their understanding of the learning needs and strengths of the individual students participating in the program while also informing overall programmatic refinement as we work to meet the needs of our entire student body. To learn more watch: WPS/Landmark Dual Enrollment Program Partnership.
  • April, 2019

    Dear Winston Families, Colleagues and Friends,

    In keeping with the WPS mission, the Winston Innovation Lab’s efforts towards influencing the field of education with research and implementation models speaks directly to our professional partnerships with organizations such as The NVLD Project and the Child Mind Institute. Through these partnerships we are directly involved in research and outreach initiatives, supporting our students and families of students with specific learning disorders by deepening our understanding of how to develop skills while facilitating independence.

    Innovation Lab Team members have been working with the NVLD Project researchers and leaders in an ongoing way by clarifying the definition of NVLD, supporting efforts to include the diagnosis in the DSM, and directly contributing to the research effort. Presentations such as the highly successful Nonverbal Learning Disorders: Linking Research to Practice, presented jointly by Elizabeth Mendelsohn and Amy Margolis, Ph.D., a Principal Investigator of the NVLD Project, at the Learning Disabilities Association Annual International Conference in Fort Worth, Texas, continue to influence the field of education. Additionally, we began working with NVLD Project leaders on developing tools aimed towards educating educators and arming parents with a more widespread understanding of NVLD, how it can manifest in the classroom and at home, and various approaches that support students who struggle with this learning disorder.

    You might be familiar with the WPS/Child Mind Institute collaboration through the Healthy Brain Network research partnership where WPS students can participate and contribute to research that aims to answer questions about brain development in order to guide programming and practice and one day develop objective diagnostic tools. Participation in this program allows families to receive a no-cost, comprehensive learning evaluation. This collaboration illustrates the WPS commitment to research-informed education, using in-depth assessments to gain an understanding of students as individuals and developing programming to meet the individual needs of each of our students as well as influencing the field of education as a whole. Learn more about the WPS/HBN partnership here. Recently, the WPS/CMI partnership has expanded to include an exciting new project, Mindlogger, an informatics tool that initially will deepen our understanding and facilitate the independence and meaningful participation of students. Looking into future applications, the Innovation Lab envisions this tool to have endless potential for deepening our research impact, developing postgraduate tools and support, as well as further developing ongoing projects such as Lives Over Time and QSIL development.

    Continuing to cultivate our professional partnerships with respected institutions such as the NVLD Project and the Child Mind Institute, directly supports the work we do with our students. Harmoniously, being a part of cutting-edge research and continuing our engagement with the field of education, beyond the walls of Winston Prep, influences how the world understands all students with specific learning disorders. This would not be possible without your support, so we thank you.
  • March, 2019

    Dear Winston Families, Colleagues and Friends,

    The Winston Innovation Lab’s work of maintaining faculty excellence through professional development is a priority and yields impressive results. Our leadership and teaching staff is unmatched in their understanding of how to reach each individual student through the application of science and collaboration. This is due partly to our unparalleled Teacher Excellence and Leadership Development Program (TELD). The Teacher Excellence and Leadership Development Program is an exceptional example of the way in which the Winston Innovation Lab works to develop our teaching community’s level of expertise in understanding our students and transferring that knowledge into the classroom each day.

    We are excited to kick off our 7th year of the Teacher Excellence and Leadership Development Program, reaching nearly 80 participants since launching the initiative in 2013. The TELD program is run as a mini-graduate school course by the Winston Innovation Lab team, and measures faculty members’ acquisition of the knowledge essential to becoming an expert learning specialist and leader at WPS. Those faculty members that achieve this most expert level receive a monetary bonus and are considered for future leadership roles. The program is open to any staff member who has completed at least two years at WPS and has been nominated by their Head of School. Twice a month for an entire calendar year, we work closely with this select group of WPS instructors who already excel at what they do and immerse them in readings, research, case studies, and in-depth discussions linked to learning and our students. Some examples of topics covered are Measurement & Assessment, Learning & Cognition, Legal Foundations & Funding, Social Implications of Learning Disabilities, Understanding, Programming, & Case Studies regarding Nonverbal Learning Disabilities, Executive Functioning Difficulties, & Dyslexia, and Leading & Learning.

    Successfully concluding our class of 2018, we thought we would share a few of the comments we’ve received from this most recent class of learning experts:

    • Thank you all for this valuable opportunity and for sharing your expertise. I learned an enormous amount and now have greater clarity and perspective with which to apply to my work. It truly was inspiring.
    • I cannot thank you enough for your patience, your guidance, your wisdom, and your leadership.
    • Thank you for everything. TELD has changed me as an educator and I am forever grateful!
    • In previous schools that I have taught in, the staff often sat around the staff lounge discussing The Bachelor, or Sex In The City. At Winston, the staff sits around discussing fluid reasoning and digit spans. You have all created that culture. Thank you.
    • Thank you so much for all you did to prepare materials, guide discussions, give feedback to written work, and share your valuable insights! I feel like I have a more advanced lens from which to view our students, and I do feel a little more excellent!

    The Teacher Excellence and Leadership Development Program is one of the many ways in which the Winston Innovation Lab supports the development of understanding and celebrates those who excel at the work we do. Providing this unique opportunity encourages our expert learning specialists to deepen their knowledge, fostering their intrinsic curiosity and motivation to understand our students at the deepest level, paving the way for pioneering innovation and success. We hope that you can join us at this year’s Winston Benefit where our Live Auction will raise funds specifically for the Teacher Excellence Program! More information can be found here.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.”
Winston Preparatory School is a leading school for students with learning disabilities, including dyslexia, executive functioning difficulties (ADHD) and non-verbal learning disorders (NVLD).

WPS does not discriminate against applicants and students on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin. Read More