Weekly Wrap-up: Spreading the Word, Designing Quarter 2, and a Note from a Parent

1. We continue to visit freshman classess and have gotten to around 75% of them. Our four parent/student info sessions have seen a total of around 80 people. We have another one Tuesday at 7PM and the following Monday before Thanksgiving at noon. We are also exploring an online presentation and Q&A in the upcoming weeks.

2. Chatting with Mark Hines from Mid-Pac over in Hawaii is a constant breath of positivity and enthusiasm. We are trying to get his whole team in on a call, but with the time difference, it’s tough. They’re adopting NGSS soon too, so Sarah’s sharing of ideas about the Environmental Chemistry pilot course was especially helpful. Mark noted that juggling too many projects is tough and that they have one year-long project that is always ongoing supplemented with a short-term one as well.

3. We have so many other school design tasks come up that when we are able to get creative and plan units, the process is that much more fun. We are drawing unique connections between Math/English (rethought plot diagrams), Science/Social Studies (eugenics), Science/English (elements), and Math/Social Studies (population changes in CT/NY) that our designations of Humanities and STEM become more blurred as the year goes on. This is a great sign of the interdisciplinary core of the program at work. Our Immersion Week ideas of how to layout your work, reach out to local publishers, and make what you’ve done accessible to others ties back to our Q2 essential question under the umbrella of Identity: How do we define ourselves and our role in the world?

4. After an info session, we received this email from a parent who attended (we removed specific comments about her son):

“To say I was impressed by the quality and completeness of your presentation, the intelligence and passion with which you spoke, your preparation and enthusiasm would be a gross understatement.  I wish all students had access to teachers such as yourselves and a program such as this one.

[D]eciding whether or not to pursue the program is purely a leap of faith!  Don’t know how you get around that with parents/students. However, for me, after meeting all of you I’m confident you are going to do whatever is necessary to make this program work – not because of what it means to you personally but because you truly have your students’ best interests at heart.”
We are humbled that our passion about Innovation Lab is being noticed. Onward!
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