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Harwood Union Middle and High School was among five Vermont schools to have been inducted into the League of Innovative Schools, according to the Agency of Education.
The other schools are Lake Region Union High School, Otter Valley Union High School and Twinfield Union.
Vermont's League of Innovative Schools is comprised of schools from across the state and is affiliated with the New England Secondary School Consortium (NESSC). The Consortium includes Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont. The goal of the league is to encourage innovative strategies, establish a network of best practices that is directly linked to 21st-century learning and promote greater educational equity and opportunities for all students. League schools will serve as models for local education agencies around the state, helping to shape the future of Vermont's public education.
Harwood Union is a strong proponent of student-directed learning. Currently, Harwood offers learning opportunities that include online and blended learning, dual enrollment, internships and relevant exposure to problem-solving and creative solution building.
"Harwood Union has a tradition of innovative practices that range from student voice and personalization to the integration of technology in education and service learning along with high standards for student performance in academics, the arts and athletics," said co-principal Amy Rex. "We anticipate that the league will improve our capacity to continue this tradition through collaborative networks: that is to interact with other professionals, share our best thinking and resources, problem solve our dilemmas and learn together so that we can provide all students with a world-class 21st-century education."
"It's important for our schools to continuously think about ways to engage students in their learning," said secretary of education Armando Vilaseca. "When kids get excited about what they are learning and see that education is relevant, they take ownership of it – that's what we want, students who see purpose and feel successful in school."
There are currently 16 members in Vermont's League of Innovative Schools:
Brattleboro Union High School, Burlington High School, Cabot School, Champlain Valley Union High School, Essex High School, Harwood Union Middle/High School, Lake Region Union High School, Montpelier High School, Mount Abraham Union Middle/High School, Otter Valley Union High School, Rochester School, South Burlington High School, Twinfield Union School, U-32, Vergennes Union High School, Williamstown Middle/High School.