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153 - Dr. Susan Bell on Becoming Student Centered and Mastery Based

Episode description

Today, Tom has a conversation with Dr. Susan Bell, Superintendent of Windsor Locks Public Schools, a Connecticut district moving to mastery-based learning where students show what they know and progress when they demonstrate mastery.


Next month, after 17 years working with Windsor Locks, Dr. Bell will be joining the Mastery Transcript Consortium. There she will be helping schools and districts adopt new competency-based transcripts that help learners better communicate their capabilities and accomplishments.


In this episode, they discuss Windsor Locks’s goals and efforts to becoming a mastery-based district, Susan’s work at Windsor Locks and the strides she has made in her 17 years as Superintendent, and all about her new position at Mastery Transcript Consortium and the work she hopes to accomplish there.


Key Takeaways:

[:15] About today’s conversation with Dr. Susan Bell.

[:50] About the community of Windsor Locks in Connecticut.

[2:59] About Susie’s early life and education.

[3:40] Did Susie go to MCLA with the intentions of becoming a teacher?

[4:23] Susie’s start as a counselor at Windsor Locks, in 2001.

[5:29] What did Susie study at the University of Hartford?

[6:17] The importance of building a rich path to principalship.

[7:52] About Windsor Locks’s goals and how they were formed.

[10:00] Windsor Locks’s graduate profile.

[11:09] Windsor Locks’s efforts to become a mastery-based district and where the idea originated.

[13:53] The challenge of becoming more competency-based and student-centered.

[16:07] Did Dr. Susan Bell start in K-8?

[17:20] How Susie’s work has helped her reimagine high school.

[21:09] Supporters that have helped Windsor Locks.

[25:15] The progress being made through Susie’s hard work.

[27:11] Susie’s new position at Mastery Transcript Consortium.

[29:05] Why a new transcript and the work at MTC is so important.


Mentioned in This Episode:

Windsor Locks Public Schools

Mastery Transcript Consortium

Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

University of Hartford

Great Schools Partnership

Hartford Foundation for Public Giving

Connecticut Center for School Change

Nellie Mae Education Foundation

High Tech High

Most Likely to Succeed film


Want to Learn More About Another Fantastic Connecticut Superintendent?

Listen to: S3: E16 Leading A Student-Centered Agenda: 10 Lessons from Mark Benigni


Get Involved:

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To get in contact: Email, Tweet @Getting_Smart, or leave a review.

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