Monday, January 18, 2016

Most Likely To Succeed In WWSU

On January 14th about 125 parents, students, and staff joined together in the HUHS Auditorium to attend a screening of the film Most Likely to Succeed, a Sundance film from director Greg Whiteley. This film profiles teaching and learning at High Tech High in San Diego, CA in juxtaposition to traditional public school and its emphasis on short-term test prep and traditional grades.  The filmmaker provides a great deal of background information about how the current model for school was formed (in 1892!) and has remained relatively unchanged and unchallenged ever since, and contrasts this model with the needs of the 21st century. Reportedly the future belongs to those who can create, collaborate, communicate, and solve challenging problems in a way that synthesizes content rather than keeping it isolated into the silos we call subjects.

In Washington West, we decided to show this film as a foundation to engage with our community about changes currently underway within the school system, but also as a means to help shape these changes into a model that reflects our shared values. In March 2016 we invite all interested community members to attend a series of "Community Conversations" to help define the future of learning in our schools. 

Your Voice Is Important!! Community Conversations, also known as the Study Circle process, is a forum for community discussion, debate and feedback regarding teaching and learning in the schools of WWSU.  Come prepared to talk about ways for students to be prepared for the future, find ways the community can engage to support our learners, and have a voice in the future of educating all of our children.

Each “circle” will consist of a group of 10 individuals from various segments of our community (students, teachers, parents, business owners, community members, etc.) and be facilitated by adult and youth partners from our school and community.  These circles will work as a team over the course of four (4) meetings:

March 7, March 14, March 21 and March 28 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at Harwood Union High School. Please sign up in advance so we can have an adequate number of student and adult facilitators. (click here to register). 

It is critical that all participants commit to attending all four sessions, as each discussion builds upon the previous one.  Thus, by committing to participate in this process you are agreeing to come to all four meetings. The ultimate purpose of this initiative is to develop and make recommendations to the WWSU Leadership Team to be utilized in the WWSU action plan.  This process is modeled after successful community dialogue programs in other organizations and schools across the country.

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