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Individualized Learning Plans: Not Just for Learners

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An Individualized Learning Plan, or ILP, is both a document and a process. It is what learners use – with support from school facilitators, staff and families – to define and work toward their learning and career goals. And while learners and families are very familiar with the ILP process, they may not be aware that Maker Learning Network and iLEAD Schools facilitators, leaders and staff go through a very similar process. Annually, all staff members revisit their ILPs with their supervisors and set learning goals for the next year.

This process corresponds with project-based learning (PBL), according to iLEAD Director of Maker Outreach Matt Watson. He said that just as with PBL, it is about individualized growth and reflecting on learning.

“Our learners complete ILPs, and we do as well. It’s true project-based learning. It’s our authentic, real-life work,” Watson said. “Learners may need more guidance, but all of us benefit from identifying our areas of growth and setting goals to meet those.”

In addition, both learners and staff prepare a year-end Showcase of Learning, where they present to their peers a reflection on their goals and growth.

According to Watson, the staff do this both to model learning and to grow as lifelong learners themselves.

“We believe in this,” Watson said. “Metacognition – thinking about what we do and learn – is the higher-level thinking necessary to truly grow.”

Watson recalled his first meeting with iLEAD California Founder and CEO Dawn Evenson. He said Evenson asked him how he and his team could be more successful.

“I was allowed to contribute, and it hooked me,” Watson said. “I had a voice and was part of the team, not part of the system.”

Just as with PBL, Watson said some choose to have more guidance in the ILPs while some take on more autonomy about what their goals could be.

“You can dream as big as you like,” Watson said. “And then you need to figure out how to facilitate that.”

Across the network, facilitators agree that ILPs are essential to their success.

iLEAD Santa Clarita (SCVi) Spanish facilitator Erika Cedeño said she sees this process as a technique that leads one to challenge oneself. She likes to think of her ILP as her professional bucket list that makes critical thinking about what she wants to achieve easier and more tangible.

“It’s important for people to write down their goals and be truthful about what they need to do,” Cedeño said. “Reflecting on how you have progressed during the year helps you envision what you want to achieve.”

Cedeño said she looks forward to revisiting her ILP each year. She said she enjoys seeing her progress and getting invaluable feedback from her mentors.

“This is as important as learners getting assessed and receiving feedback about their work and progress,” Cedeño said. “I believe every workplace should have this process because it makes the company more reflective and human, sharing their challenges and dreams.”

SCVi science facilitator Ingrid Moon agrees that the ILP process is important to her professional development.

“As a goal-oriented person, I like having the opportunity to set my own goals and then evaluate my progress,” Moon said. “Essentially, it’s a performance review of myself.”

Setting goals and self-assessing connect to PBL and deeper learning, according to Moon.

“This is a better way for all learners, young and old, to reflect and track their progress,” Moon said. “These are not arbitrary but, rather, meaningful outcomes that can be tracked.”

Evenson emphasizes that ILPs are an integral part of iLEAD’s Reflective Supervision model, which personalizes the evaluation process. She said that it allows each staff member to set goals for themselves that are relevant, which motivates them to learn and grow in the areas that they feel are most important.

“ILPs are always a collaborative effort,” Evenson added. “Each staff member has a thought partner to help them work toward their goals and to have accountability.”

Posted on July 27, 2021 in iLEAD Digest

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About the Author

Michael Niehoff is a teacher, leader, blogger, learner advocate, and the Education Content Coordinator at iLEAD Schools.
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Effective date: August 29, 2019

Maker Learning Network (“us”, “we”, or “our”) operates the https://ileadschools.org/ website (the “Service”).

This page informs you of our policies regarding the collection, use and disclosure of personal data when you use our Service and the choices you have associated with that data.

We use your data to provide and improve the Service. By using the Service, you agree to the collection and use of information in accordance with this policy. Unless otherwise defined in this Privacy Policy, the terms used in this Privacy Policy have the same meanings as in our Terms and Conditions, accessible from the Service.

Information Collection and Use

We collect several different types of information for various purposes to provide and improve our Service to you.

Types of Data Collected

Personal Data

While using our Service, we may ask you to provide us with certain personally identifiable information that can be used to contact or identify you (“Personal Data”). Personally identifiable information may include, but is not limited to:

We may use your Personal Data to contact you with newsletters, marketing or promotional materials and other information that may be of interest to you. You may opt out of receiving any, or all, of these communications from us by following the unsubscribe link or the instructions provided in any email we send.

Usage Data

We may also collect information on how the Service is accessed and used (“Usage Data”). This Usage Data may include information such as your computer’s Internet Protocol address (e.g. IP address), browser type, browser version, the pages of our Service that you visit, the time and date of your visit, the time spent on those pages, unique device identifiers and other diagnostic data.

Tracking & Cookies Data

We use cookies and similar tracking technologies to track the activity on our Service and we hold certain information.

Cookies are files with a small amount of data which may include an anonymous unique identifier. Cookies are sent to your browser from a website and stored on your device. Other tracking technologies are also used such as beacons, tags and scripts to collect and track information and to improve and analyse our Service.

You can instruct your browser to refuse all cookies or to indicate when a cookie is being sent. However, if you do not accept cookies, you may not be able to use some portions of our Service.

Examples of Cookies we use:

Use of Data

Maker Learning Network uses the collected data for various purposes:

Legal Basis for Processing Personal Data under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

If you are from the European Economic Area (EEA), Maker Learning Network legal basis for collecting and using the personal information described in this Privacy Policy depends on the Personal Data we collect and the specific context in which we collect it.

Maker Learning Network  may process your Personal Data because:

Retention of Data

Maker Learning Network will retain your Personal Data only for as long as is necessary for the purposes set out in this Privacy Policy. We will retain and use your Personal Data to the extent necessary to comply with our legal obligations (for example, if we are required to retain your data to comply with applicable laws), resolve disputes and enforce our legal agreements and policies.

Maker Learning Network will also retain Usage Data for internal analysis purposes. Usage Data is generally retained for a shorter period of time, except when this data is used to strengthen the security or to improve the functionality of our Service, or we are legally obligated to retain this data for longer periods.

Transfer of Data

Your information, including Personal Data, may be transferred to – and maintained on – computers located outside of your state, province, country or other governmental jurisdiction where the data protection laws may differ from those of your jurisdiction.

If you are located outside United States and choose to provide information to us, please note that we transfer the data, including Personal Data, to United States and process it there.

Your consent to this Privacy Policy followed by your submission of such information represents your agreement to that transfer.

Maker Learning Network will take all the steps reasonably necessary to ensure that your data is treated securely and in accordance with this Privacy Policy and no transfer of your Personal Data will take place to an organisation or a country unless there are adequate controls in place including the security of your data and other personal information.

Disclosure of Data

Business Transaction

If Maker Learning Network is involved in a merger, acquisition or asset sale, your Personal Data may be transferred. We will provide notice before your Personal Data is transferred and becomes subject to a different Privacy Policy.

Disclosure for Law Enforcement

Under certain circumstances, Maker Learning Network may be required to disclose your Personal Data if required to do so by law or in response to valid requests by public authorities (e.g. a court or a government agency).

Legal Requirements

Maker Learning Network may disclose your Personal Data in the good faith belief that such action is necessary to:

Security of Data

The security of your data is important to us but remember that no method of transmission over the Internet or method of electronic storage is 100% secure. While we strive to use commercially acceptable means to protect your Personal Data, we cannot guarantee its absolute security.

Our Policy on “Do Not Track” Signals under the California Online Protection Act (CalOPPA)

We do not support Do Not Track (“DNT”). Do Not Track is a preference you can set in your web browser to inform websites that you do not want to be tracked.

You can enable or disable Do Not Track by visiting the Preferences or Settings page of your web browser.

Your Data Protection Rights under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

If you are a resident of the European Economic Area (EEA), you have certain data protection rights. Maker Learning Network aims to take reasonable steps to allow you to correct, amend, delete or limit the use of your Personal Data.

If you wish to be informed about what Personal Data we hold about you and if you want it to be removed from our systems, please contact us.

In certain circumstances, you have the following data protection rights:

Please note that we may ask you to verify your identity before responding to such requests.

You have the right to complain to a Data Protection Authority about our collection and use of your Personal Data. For more information, please contact your local data protection authority in the European Economic Area (EEA).

Service Providers

We may employ third party companies and individuals to facilitate our Service (“Service Providers”), provide the Service on our behalf, perform Service-related services or assist us in analysing how our Service is used.

These third parties have access to your Personal Data only to perform these tasks on our behalf and are obligated not to disclose or use it for any other purpose.


We may use third-party Service Providers to monitor and analyse the use of our Service.

Behavioral Remarketing

Maker Learning Network uses remarketing services to advertise on third party websites to you after you visited our Service. We and our third-party vendors use cookies to inform, optimise and serve ads based on your past visits to our Service.

Links to Other Sites

Our Service may contain links to other sites that are not operated by us. If you click a third party link, you will be directed to that third party’s site. We strongly advise you to review the Privacy Policy of every site you visit.

We have no control over and assume no responsibility for the content, privacy policies or practices of any third party sites or services.

Children’s Privacy

Our Service does not address anyone under the age of 18 (“Children”).

We do not knowingly collect personally identifiable information from anyone under the age of 18. If you are a parent or guardian and you are aware that your Child has provided us with Personal Data, please contact us. If we become aware that we have collected Personal Data from children without verification of parental consent, we take steps to remove that information from our servers.

Changes to This Privacy Policy

We may update our Privacy Policy from time to time. We will notify you of any changes by posting the new Privacy Policy on this page.

We will let you know via email and/or a prominent notice on our Service, prior to the change becoming effective and update the “effective date” at the top of this Privacy Policy.

You are advised to review this Privacy Policy periodically for any changes. Changes to this Privacy Policy are effective when they are posted on this page.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy, please contact us:

Important information regarding confidential student data

There is ongoing litigation between the California Department of Education and the Concerned Parent Association. A notice issued by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson states, “The lawsuit accuses CDE of widespread, systemic non-compliance by local educational agencies with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504. The CDE denies these allegations and is actively defending the litigation.”

The court has ordered CDE to release student and parent information to provide personally identifiable information (PII) – an act that can only be taken as an exception to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). As a result, we are providing notice of the court order and directions to anyone wishing to object.

Please be advised that CDE will notify parents or students of whom are required to disclose information and those individuals may object directly to the court regarding this disclosure using the PDF link below:


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