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BUSD approves agreement with Pivot Learning for Linked Learning program


Last updated 2/8/2017 at Noon

The Bonsall Unified School District (BUSD) approved an agreement with Pivot Learning for a subsidized Beyond High School partnership which will utilize the Linked Learning pathways program.

The BUSD board voted 4-0 January 19, with Erin English absent, to approve the two-year agreement in which the school district pays 25 percent of the total full price which is estimated at $400,000.

"That's an exciting one," said BUSD superintendent Justin Cunningham. "It's a great grant."

The Linked Learning approach is based on the concept that students provide more effort if their education is relevant to them. Linked Learning integrates academics with sequenced career technical education and work-based learning, and education is taught around industry-sector themes which will be part of lessons provided by teachers who collaborate with working professionals.

"It's something that has been going on in the state for four or five years now that really focuses on developing a lot stronger ties between schools and industries," Cunningham said.

"The students are given the ability to some degree to develop networks in their desired career paths," Cunningham said. "It helps the student become much more aware of what's out there."

The Bonsall Unified School District utilizes the New Technology Network model in which students interact with local industry and serve internships, allowing those students to develop networks in their desired career fields.

"This will really help that," Cunningham said.

The school district was offered only one of three subsidized Beyond High School partnerships in California.

"They really liked what we were doing," Cunningham said. "We felt very fortunate to be one of the small districts that have been able to get into something a lot of

the big districts have been able to get into."

The New Technology Network program is utilized both at Bonsall High School and at Sullivan Middle School, and the Linked Learning activity will also cover both the high school and middle school.

The partnership with Pivot Learning, which is based in Oakland, will last until August 31, 2018, under the current agreement. Pivot Learning will designate a project team for the partnership with the Bonsall district, conduct an implementation analysis, provide at least 40 person days per year of training and other professional development focused on school and pathway planning and design work.

In addition, Pivot Learning will provide master scheduling support and related tools, collaborate with district leadership to ensure that district goals for the project are reflected, provide four annual cross-district networking opportunities including the Linked Learning Alliance Convention and visits to successful Linked Learning schools, provide access to the Linked Learning Alliance on-line quality assurance and pathway certification tool, support the development of Linked Learning pathways at the middle school level, and solicit formal and informal feedback from participants to refine the program. Any sensitive matters discussed by school or district staff with Pivot Learning employees will be confidential.

The James Irvine Foundation will cover most of the costs of the grant.

The school district is responsible for a 25 percent match, which will equate to $100,000 over two years, and is also responsible for identifying at least one administrative leader to work with Pivot Learning staff and serve as the district liaison as well as selecting a team of teachers, site leaders, and other stakeholders who will participate in the program.


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