UHS Featured in National Study on School Pandemic Preparedness

UHS Featured in National Study on School Pandemic Preparedness

Uxbridge Superintendent Dr. Patrick Dillon is proud to announce that Uxbridge High School has been featured as part of the The Prepared Project, a national study focused on lessons learned for schools during the pandemic.

“As schools were challenged in unique and unprecedented ways throughout the past two years, the staff of our schools rose to the significant challenge of connecting with students and making academic progress,” said Dr. Dillon. “To have this work recognized on such a national scale certainly is a tribute and credit to a number of people and their collective commitment and strength.”

This new study of 70 student-centered schools and districts tells a new story about K-12 education during COVID. Researching the Prepared Project allows people to discover the amazing stories of persistence, care and community, creative problem-solving, flexibility, and innovation in school communities across the U.S. UHS shared its story of persistence, creative problem-solving, flexibility and innovation, sharing how our community came together to take care of each other and support our students, families, and staff during such a challenging time. The full study can be accessed at: https://www.nextgenlearning.org/prepared-project

“Our school deliberately constructs an adult learning culture to parallel its student learning culture—and extends that adult learning culture to include parents and caregivers as key learning resources,” said Uxbridge High School Principal Michael Rubin. “For us to be seen as one of 70 national models reinforces the nature of our professionals, their commitment to each other, and desire to reinvent and innovate in the service of students, on a consistent basis.”

The core themes of the Prepared Project included:

  • The common-sense assertion: To help students become capable, caring, self-directed learners and creative problem-solvers, our schools should model those same attributes for granthem – in their design of learning, but also in our adult working culture and operating habits.
  • The research finding: Schools and districts that had made this commitment pre-COVID (like UHS) strongly benefited from it during the pandemic, enabling us and our communities (including students) to respond adaptively and creatively. Our agentic learning and operating approaches, efforts to create a healthy culture supported by strong relationships, and resilient, flexible systems made us feel prepared to face the pandemic’s many challenges.
  • The value to ALL schools and districts: Ed leaders seeking positive ways to move past Omicron and rebuild forward momentum can use this project’s findings and resources to build on their own school or district’s examples of resilient, adaptive innovation during the pandemic. This research offers a productive way forward at a time of urgent need.

Throughout 2021, NGLC and eight prominent partner organizations explored an important set of questions with 70 hand-picked schools and districts. The participating schools and districts had chosen, long before COVID, to adopt or create genuinely different learning models for their students: learning models that emphasize student agency, self-direction, resilient adaptiveness, real-world problem-solving, creative and critical thinking, and effective collaboration. They were leaning into those attributes in their adult professional cultures and systems as well. NGLC asked these schools:

  • How did you apply those attributes to meet the daunting tests of COVID—itself a kind of crucible of the kind of challenges that today’s students will likely face throughout their lifetimes? How did those attributes serve you and your community?
  • How did you develop those attributes in the first place? What made you so prepared?

UHS’ work on connecting students and staff and leveraging its professional culture to define learning outcomes that benefited all stakeholders became the core of the work featured. The stories told in the project paint a picture of organizational “humaneness” that is a compelling version of the future through a picture of pervasive coherence. The project was supported by a number of national organizations, including The Learning Accelerator, the Christensen Institute, 2Revolutions,, Education Reimagined, SpringPoint, LEAP Innovations, City Year, and Deeper Learning Dozen. It was made possible by a generous grant from the Leon Lowenstein Foundation and focused on schools driven on advancing student-centered learning through its own approaches and talents.