In a remarkable display of student agency and self-advocacy, Gurney Elementary School students presented their kindergarten through third-grade learner profiles at the April 17 Board of Education Meeting. This initiative, aligned with the Chagrin Falls Schools' Strategic Plan and Gurney's goal, aims to empower students with increased ownership, control, and empowerment over their learning.

Tatum Schron (kindergarten), Owen Goldsmith (first grade), Emily Herrmann (second grade), Eileen McGroarty (third grade), and Paige Ross (third grade) served as student presenters, sharing their unique learner profiles and insights into their strengths, barriers to learning, needed supports, and goals.

"Through continuous cycles of student choice and voice opportunities, followed by strategic reflection, our learners are identifying and documenting their strengths, barriers to learning, needed supports, and goals," explained Principal Rachel Jones, Gurney Elementary. "These learner profiles are reviewed and revised throughout the year, fostering a personalized and learner-driven approach to education."

The learner profiles provide a comprehensive understanding of each student, enabling teachers to tailor their support and instructional strategies to best meet individual needs. Additionally, students gain invaluable self-advocacy skills by communicating their learner profiles to teachers and staff, ensuring a seamless transition between grade levels.

"It's one thing to know yourself as a learner, but it's a whole other thing to be able to communicate to others about yourself as a learner," said Jones. "By creating their profiles each year and sharing them with teachers and staff, our students are developing essential self-advocacy skills that will serve them well in their educational journeys."

The learner profile initiative is just one example of Gurney Elementary's commitment to fostering a learner-centered environment, where students are empowered to take ownership of their education and actively participate in shaping their learning experiences.

"We are incredibly proud of our students for their insightful presentations and their dedication to embracing this transformative approach to learning," said Superintendent Dr. Jennifer Penczarski, Chagrin Falls Schools. "The learner profiles are a testament to the District's ongoing efforts to promote student agency, self-awareness, and personalized learning experiences that prepare our students for success."