A strong movement for school change needs an equally strong and strategic communications campaign—one that engages people in shaping their future together. This is just what UP for Learning, in partnership with Full Frame Communications and the School Project Foundation, has crafted its statewide communications movement in Vermont called Shaping Our Future Together. The goal is to build public understanding and support for Act 77 Flexible Pathways and student-centered learning change efforts – orchestrated by youth and adults in equal measure.
Act 77 strives to bring the highest quality educational experience to all young people in Vermont. It highlights the importance of real-life opportunities, the power of a personal learning plan for each student, the chance to take both virtual and college level courses while in high school, and meaningful career development and post-secondary planning for every student.
Instead of simply “marketing” this new policy, our approach to communications helps people understand the need for change and contribute to building the movement. Inspired by the YATST model, the Shaping Our Future Together framework is grounded in youth-adult partnership, action research and a dialogue-for-change model. It is also utilizes an evidence-based communications approach called strategic framing.
As 11 Vermont high school teams forge ahead with this critical work, they pave the way for every Vermont community to realize the potential in Act 77: not just responding to a mandate, but taking the opportunity to shape their own educational future with students squarely at the center.
The Shaping Our Future Together campaign is being implemented on the local, state and regional levels.