News + Ideas

A Master Class in School Redesign 

August means “back to school” for millions of students across the country. But this year it will also signal the beginning of an exciting new learning and sharing opportunity for a group of forward-thinking leaders from school districts and charter school organizations. They have one special thing in common: Each has an interest in rethinking school design.

That’s why NewSchools is excited to partner with Transcend to support teams of educators from ten different organizations who want to put their heads together on this issue. The team at Transcend understands that to serve the needs of every student – today and in the future — schools are going to have to look very different than they do now. Starting with an event in the Bay Area this fall, we’re teaming up to lead a nine-month cohort experience designed to help district and charter leaders:

  • Use research and practice to explore issues like the future of learning, new instructional models, and the science of learning
  • Develop a richer, more nuanced understanding of the communities they serve, including their beliefs, values, and dreams for students
  • Work with specific tools and frameworks for student and family-centered school design, and be supported in applying these in their own communities
  • Build and/or refine plans for bold, new school models that involve key stakeholders and foster community enthusiasm

These leaders want to explore together the best ways to cultivate new school models that will better serve their students. And, best of all, they want to share what they learn with each other, and others in the sector. That’s because they know that many, many more students need schools that work better for them.

Each participant has the freedom and flexibility to create an experience appropriate to their own innovation journey. Participating organizations are:

  • Citizens of the World Charter Schools – Multiple Cities
  • DC Public Schools – Washington, D.C.
  • Gestalt Community Schools – Memphis, TN
  • KIPP Houston Public Schools – Houston, TX
  • Spring Branch Independent School District – Houston, TX
  • Tulsa Public Schools – Tulsa, OK
  • Camino Nuevo Charter Academy – Los Angeles, CA
  • Excel Academy Charter Schools – Boston, MA
  • Hiawatha Academies – Minneapolis, MN
  • YES Prep Public Schools – Houston, TX

Everyone will work toward developing a future vision for schools. They will deepen their understanding of the future of learning and  the need for new models, and see first-hand what’s being tried and learned from pioneering schools across the country. They will document what they learn, craft their emerging vision for a new school model, and create plans for galvanizing action in their local communities.

Some will also have the opportunity to take the next step toward realizing their vision. They will develop a “dream canvas” that will help them begin designing a specific new school model and planning to make it a reality.

We look forward to seeing what comes out of this master class!

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