Entries by The Learner First

New Zealand Mathematics Workshops

The Ministry of Education is partnering with New Zealand Principals Federation on a series of workshops aimed at supporting principals to lead mathematics effectively in schools. The workshops will be co-facilitated by Rob Proffitt-White (Math and Numeracy Director, The Learner First) and the NZPF Executive and will take leaders through high-leverage routines using existing resources […]

Stop the Swing, Start from Center

By Beth Hamilton, Director, The Learner First USA. I recently stepped away from the schoolhouse after 20 years in education that encompassed roles as a teacher, instructional coach, and, for the last 10 years, an elementary school principal. A lot happens in 20 years, professionally and personally, and in my time of reflection these past […]

Going Toward vs. Going Away

By Ellen Perconti, Superintendent of Goldendale School District in Washington State. The New Year is a time when we typically reflect, set goals, and determine actions. It’s a time in our school year when we recommit to action plans for the current school year while looking ahead into the next school year’s planning, finance, and […]

Assessment: What’s the Fuss All About?

By Mary Coverdale, Executive Director at The Learner First Australia. The COVID-19 pandemic has perhaps unwittingly created a sliding doors moment in education. One consequence has been a global awareness of the scale of educational inequality that reflects the broader social issues which have spawned a deep divide in communities across the globe. While equity […]

Goldendale School District Awarded WSSDA Board of the Year

The Learner First has partnered with Goldendale School District (GSD) in Washington State since 2019. This week, GSD’s School Board was awarded Board of the Year in the category of Small School Districts for its extraordinary efforts in supporting GSD’s focus on learning and well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic. Congratulations to the GSD School Board, […]

Goldendale School District: A Commitment to Connection

By Ellen Perconti, Superintendent of Goldendale School District in Washington State. The 2021-22 school year is off to a great start, and our staff and students are enjoying being back together daily for learning and growing. Our focus in the Goldendale School District this fall is on connection. Feeling connected increases our ability to learn. This […]

Profile: Murgon State School

Murgon State School in Queensland, Australia partnered with The Learner First to engage students, teachers, staff, and the broader community in a community-wide journey toward deeper learning. The school adopted the lens of its “least-served learners”—those who are underserved by traditional teaching and learning styles—in order to better understand those learners’ needs, and then to […]

Student Ambassadors for Contributive Learning

By Dr. Tina Marcoionni, Director of The Learner First (TLF) Australia In my first weeks partnering with Murgon State School in Queensland, Australia, we were working through School Capability #1—understanding your school, your learners, and their needs—when the Deputy Principal received a teacher request. The teacher requested some “assistance” with Archie, a year six student […]


By Ellen Perconti, Superintendent of Goldendale School District in Washington State. Over the last several days, I’ve found myself reflecting on the concept of “enough.” When it comes to who we are and how we see ourselves as individuals, it’s common to struggle at times with the concept, as evidenced by the myriad of self-talk […]

When We Say No

By Ellen Perconti, Superintendent of Goldendale School District in Washington State. Years ago, in the depth of winter, our school team was asked by a teacher to support a kindergarten student (“Lisa”) who, in response to every request, replied “no.” Sometimes, the “no” was accompanied by a foot stomp, a plopping to the floor, or […]