PL_National Landscape_For Schools and Leaders

Resources for Schools & District Leaders

As one of the biggest drivers of successful personalized learning systems, school and district leaders have an important role to play in ensuring that all students benefit from personalized learning.

Whichever type of personalized learning you choose to pursue in your school or district, be sure you have a clear vision and definition to guide your work. And consider how personalized learning aligns with other important frameworks in your school(s).


Early on, consider how your personalized learning system will meet the needs of the full range of students with disabilities.

  • When planning, include members of the school or district who have expertise in working with students with disabilities. At the district level, the special education director should be deeply involved in planning and implementation. At the school, special educators and specialized instructional support personnel should be included.

Learn from others through collaboration and the creation of professional learning communities.

  • It’s likely that someone else in your state has been exploring personalized learning. Reach out to learn about their work, ideas, challenges and successes.

Help parents understand how personalized learning can help students with disabilities succeed.

  • Make parents part of your personalized learning implementation. Create opportunities for families (students and parents) to ask questions and provide input as you roll out personalized learning in your school or district.

Design competency-based systems in a way that allows for continued progress monitoring.

  • MTSS is one way to track student progress and provide increasing levels of support and interventions for students with disabilities and those who may fall behind their peers.

Evaluate the roles of special educators and specialized instructional support personnel.

  • Special educators and specialized instructional support personnel can add value to all school staff by sharing their expertise and serving as coaches for general educators.
  • Make sure their time and expertise are dispersed throughout a school or district in a way that maximizes results for students.

Provide continuous, needs-based support to help educators meet the needs of students with disabilities. All educators should receive training in:

  • Executive functioning and how challenges with these skills may impact students with disabilities; and
  • The effective strategies to personalized learning for students with disabilities.

Adopt hiring practices that prioritize the skills you’ll need.

  • Seek individuals who can implement personalized learning and have experience working with students with disabilities.

Align existing UDL and MTSS frameworks with the school’s personalized learning system.

  • Make sure educators understand how these systems can work with personalized learning to provide effective instruction and supports for students with disabilities

Make sure personalized learning initiatives are sustainable.

  • Districts can choose one dedicated staff member to develop a deep understanding of federal and state funding, seek alternative and innovative funding, and train and support others on the topic.

Download PDF of Roadmap for School & District Leaders