Center for Collaborative Education, Massachusetts K-12 Breakthrough Models

The Massachusetts Personalized Learning Network is a network of district schools adopting personalized learning strategies schoolwide to better serve their increasingly diverse students. The network launched with an initial cohort of schools in March 2016.

Center for Collaborative Education Personalized Learning Network


In 2016, CCE launched the Massachusetts Personalized Learning Network (MA PLN), part of the NGLC Regional Funds for Breakthrough Schools initiative.

MA PLN partners with urban school districts throughout the state to create a critical mass of equity-minded schools that exemplify personalized, competency-based, and engaged learning approaches. Teams from network schools, comprised of district leaders, principals, and teachers, collaborate with CCE to design and implement a comprehensive, research-based personalized learning school design plan that provides experiences tailored to students’ individual needs, skills, and interests, with the goal of elevating student learning and engagement.

Through a Memorandum of Agreement, participating districts commit to five conditions:

  1. Commitment of district leadership
  2. Vision of personalized learning and commitment to multiple student-centered schools
  3. Commitment to closing the achievement gap
  4. Aligned district and school autonomies
  5. District technology and infrastructure.

The rigorous application process for school planning grants includes evidence of school conditions for personalized learning including school leadership and vision, aligned district and school autonomies, professional collaborative communities, family and community partnerships, cultural relevance and attention to equity, and campus technology and infrastructure.

Six Principles

MA PLN is a network of in-district, public schools selected to incorporate personalized learning strategies school-wide and within every classroom to better serve their increasingly diverse students. The work of MA PLN is guided by six principles of personalized learning:

Personalized Learning Pathways: Schools develop individual learning plans based on a student's interests, needs, and learning styles; Teachers work with families to promote student progress.

Competency-Based Progression: Students progress based on demonstrating proficiency over a set of learning targets or competencies, rather than by age-determined grade levels.

Flexible Learning Environments: Learning happens in and out of school, online, and on individual schedules, including through internships, field work, and community service.

Next Generation Curriculum & Assessment: Students learn through rich project-based learning, and demonstrate proficiency through performance assessments of applied learning.

Engaged Learning:  Schools meet kids where they are; Instruction incorporates voice, choice, and cultural relevance into content for all students.

Social & Emotional Learning and Academic Mindsets: Schools think about how students engage with the world; Instruction includes habits and skills such as communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity.


MA PLN is a partnership between the Center for Collaborative Education, LearnLaunch, Massachusetts Department of Elementary Secondary Education, Agilix, and National Center for Time on Learning.



Press release, March 2016: Two Massachusetts Schools Awarded Planning Grants to Lead Personalized Learning

MA PLN website

MA PLN Infographic

Contact: Stacy Young, Director, Personalized Learning Network at or 617-421-0134 x295