Flexible Pathways Initiative
While the law encourages creation of “Flexible Pathways to Secondary Completion” through development of personalized learning plans (PLP), SUs/districts should be mindful that the law did not create an individual entitlement or a private right of action. Primary purposes of the law are to (1) encourage and support the creativity of SUs/districts as they develop and expand high-quality educational experiences in secondary education, (2) promote opportunities for Vermont students to achieve postsecondary readiness and (3) increase rates of secondary school completion and postsecondary school continuation.
The law provides a significant amount of flexibility to SUs/districts in developing PLPs and flexible pathways embedded within them, but any proposal should be evaluated based on whether the activity contributes to the student’s postsecondary readiness or secondary school completion and potential postsecondary school continuation.
Under Act 77, SUs/districts are expected to:
- Identify and support students who need additional assistance to succeed in school and to identify ways in which individuals students would benefit from flexible pathways to graduation.
- Work with every student in grades 7-12 in an ongoing personalized learning planning process that: identifies the student’s emerging abilities, aptitude, and disposition; includes participation by families and other engaged adults; guides decisions regarding course offerings and other high-quality educational experiences; creates opportunities for students to pursue flexible pathways to graduation; and is documented.
- Create opportunities for secondary students to pursue flexible pathways to graduation that are an integral component of a student’s PLP.
Developing local policies around Flexible Pathways will help SUs/districts evaluate both internal and external suggestions regarding a PLP.