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Cedar Rapids: Connecting Empathy Interviews and Standards-Based Learning

When designing change in a district, it is essential that leaders hear directly from students, families, teachers, and classified staff (i.e., those most impacted by teaching and learning); this is often done via empathy interviews. As they reviewed their notes from their empathy interviews, the Cedar Rapids Community School District design team surfaced themes about opportunities to build relationships, to create more personalized and authentic learning experiences, and to reconsider effective feedback for students. The team’s discussion connected the themes from interviews to broader efforts across the district to engage students authentically, enable more personalized education, hold high expectations for all students, and facilitate standards-based learning that could help meet students’ needs.

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