The Kentucky Online Learning Experience Collaborative (KyOLXC) marked the completion of their first year with a two-day retreat at Kentucky’s Natural Bridge State Park. The location provided an inspiring backdrop for sharing stories and forming connections. Thirteen counties statewide were represented by a motivated team of teachers and administrators, each driven to improve their students’ experiences.
Members shared stories about how they built their teams, identified a focal priority for their counties, and made strides to implement improvements based on strategies taught by Region 5 Comprehensive Center coaches. Continuous improvement is designed to develop individual and collective knowledge and skills. The retreat made one thing clear above all else, the KyOLXC members’ knowledge of continuous improvement had grown and when put to the test “rocked!”
Taking a break from the insightful discussions and reflection, members hiked through incredible heat to reach the summit and observe their accomplishment from atop the Natural Bridge rock formation. As the sun set, I looked out at how far we climbed, and I couldn’t help but think about how far KyOLXC members had come over the year. In striving to successfully ensure a high-quality online learning experience for full-time enrolled students, members implemented strategies such as family engagement, professional learning, and synchronous and asynchronous student learning as well as daily and weekly schedules that made a positive impact. These strategies aligned a continuous improvement approach with the Kentucky Digital Learning Guidelines.
The retreat wasn’t just about reflection, it also looked to the future. KyOLXC leaders welcomed a new cohort of members from three counties with teams starting as small as two. KyOLXC’s newest members will learn from the first cohort’s experiences as they, in turn, work towards high-quality online learning using the Region 5 Comprehensive Center’s 8-step Networked Improvement Community Model.
This exceptional group of educators came together to share their collective knowledge through critical conversations. I was inspired by their openness and willingness to support each other. After connecting across counties, they are bringing the momentum and motivation amplified at the retreat back home to pursue further efforts in ensuring the best possible student experience.
The KyOLXC wrapped up its first year achieving great heights in more ways than one. I can’t wait to see what they do in year two.