Developing a deep understanding of needs, interests and strengths around: academics, health & wellness, social-emotional development, culture & language, living situation and cognitive skills

Co-design a milestone map with learners on their past experiences and future goals/dreams
Example: A teacher talks one-on-one with each incoming learner about his/her previous experiences in school and influential moments, and then co-author a shared plan for future goals.

Engage in cultural competence training and actively seek to learn more about the cultures of their learners
Example: A teacher serving a primarily Puerto Rican population actively researches major holidays and traditions and engages with learners and their families to better understand the nuances and values of the cultures.

Review available information regarding learners’ prior academic performance (e.g. testing, work samples and portfolios)
Example: A teacher reviews a historical portfolio of a learner’s prior performance that includes sample work and areas of success or struggle, and reviews it with the learner to confirm the findings.

Conduct observations and assessments to confirm learners’ current academic level and their response to varying levels of academic challenge
Example: A learner takes a pre-assessment before starting a new topic in school, so both the learner and the teacher can see what the learner already knows and what he/she still needs to learn.

Meet regularly with key supporters (parents, teachers, extracurricular staff, therapists, etc.) to inform the strategy for the learner’s development
Example: Learner-led conferences are held prior to the start of the new school year with parents and others to discuss the learner’s needs and co-develop a support plan that is revisited throughout the year.