Retreat Reflection (6.17.14)

The team was lucky enough to find common time in our schedules to retreat to the Greenwich Leadership Partners’ office in Old Greenwich today from 10-3. Below is a summary and some thoughts on the day.

10:00-12:15 – We spent the first couple hours video chatting with Alec Resnick who is part of the team working on the Somerville Steam Academy over in Massachusetts. A ton of cool things came out of this conversation – getting his input on how they define student success versus traditional definitions of success, the ongoing nature of projects and the value of reflecting as much as possible along the way, and how they map student work back to standards and even to college texts. A huge takeaway was his comment that “it matters a lot how we’re asking students to frame their work and who it’s for.” Success depends on who the work is for – teachers are rarely their only audience.

12:15-12:45 – Lunch was sandwiches. They were delicious.

12:45-end – We needed a project map for the summer.

  • We assigned some tasks, such as reaching out to other similar schools for sample transcripts, getting in touch with some higher ed institutions to see what their buy-in looks like, and reaching out to potential community partners or mentors.
  • Blog-wise, there are tons of topics we want and need to write about for all of the people out there who are interested in the program. Look for those to pop up over the summer (things like what a school day could look like, why mentoring will play a bigger role, rethinking assessment, etc.).
  • We keep hitting writers block on a permanent name for the program/school. Input is welcome!
  • We started to think of what we will need to work on in the fall. Perhaps planning a unit together and seeing what logistical questions come up would be a good starting point. It would help us to then make detailed decisions on how to organize time and space. Deciding metrics of success early in the fall is also a necessary task.

Feel free to comment away with questions!

– Brian, Christina, Kyaiera, Mike, Sarah


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3 Responses to Retreat Reflection (6.17.14)

  1. Erik Gundel says:

    You should try and get some volunteer seniors to do their internship with you next year. This will give you a chance to get some solid feedback about what works and what successful learning will look like at GHS. Might also be a good chance to hone in on what the target student will be. Just a thought.

    • Brian Walach says:

      Erik – this is an awesome idea. Some ways I could see it being useful: piloting a potential unit, getting feedback on what a day would look like, and their view on our metrics for success and assessment. I wish we’d thought about what we could have done with a focus group THIS year.

  2. Susan Morris says:

    Picking up on Erik’s great suggestion – and/or mentor some Senior Projects. 80 seniors presented a months worth of project based learning in the senior section of the student center yesterday. Every faculty member who came to the expo agreed the products plus their verbal and written reflections were AWESOME! Check out this 30 second video clip.
    I have their reflections upon request.

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