How One Conversation Started a School Transformation


Something unexpected happened on KnowledgeWorks Chief Learning Officer Virgel Hammonds’ first day as a high school principal in 2007 at Lindsay Unified School District (LUSD) in Lindsay, California. When a former student and LUSD graduate came to visit with his father, it wasn’t to reminisce about his time in Hammond’s class or ask for a letter of recommendation.

It was to ask how it was he had come to graduate without knowing how to read.

The moment served as a wake up call for Hammonds, who spearheaded a campaign to transform the district into one that is learner-centered and performance-based, ensuring that only through demonstrating mastery can students advance – and that students like this one, who may have come into the system behind pace, get the supports and resources they need to meet them where they are and realize their potential.

Read about Dulce Diaz, a student who experienced LUSD after the transition to personalized learning.