CCSD School Badging and Micro-credentialing

CCSD School Badging and Micro-credentialing
Posted on 12/18/2020

Canastota district leaders updated parents, community members and business partners on the school badging and micro-credentialing initiative during two virtual meetings in December.

The initiative will allow students to demonstrate character traits and employability skills through a digital badging system, personalize their learning and explore career paths they are interested in, and help make learning more relevant to students, Superintendent Shawn Bissetta said.

“This initiative really addresses what’s important to learning in 2020,” he said. “Something of this magnitude takes a while to implement, we’re laying the foundation for something that’s going to benefit Canastota students and the community in general for years to come.”

The project has been in development since the last school year. Some badging and leadership work occurred virtually during the spring COVID shutdown, but the initiative largely took a pause. This fall, retired CHS Business Teacher Liz Garofalo began coordinating the program and hopes to launch the first badge in the spring semester. She presented the design and scope of several individual badges during the public meetings and explained how the program as a whole will work.

At the K-3 level, students will work on several character education badges, like kindness, respect, responsibility and fairness. At the 4-6 level, students will work on leadership, goal setting and local history with the support of community partners. Junior high students will focus on career research and career exploration, and senior high school students will work on employability “soft skills,” such as communication and teamwork, to set them up for successful work-based learning experiences in specific career fields.

Lessons and activities in each badge area are aligned to national and industry standards and are broken up to help make the process approachable and manageable for students.

“None of these are going to take the kids a really long time to do. It’s focused, and they can choose how to complete it, but they’re not going to be discouraged because of the time commitment,” Garofalo said.

Bissetta said the program capitalizes on much of the character development and career exploration work the district already does at various level.

“A lot already exists, so why not credential it, acknowledge it, and help it lead to something greater and more meaningful for students?” he said. “Long term, this will be a way for students to create their own pathway and explore their interests, and it creates a way for our Canastota students to stand out in the field.”