ALC Summit - Continuing the Discussion

On March 2nd, SECA, NECA, W-Alt, and Gateway staff met to start preparing to meet our students’ needs in new ways.

Relevant docs:

Framework for Planning
Pedagogy of Confidence article
Creating a Mediative Learning Community article
Adolescent Cognition and Culture article
ACEs - Adverse Childhood Experiences

Related Links:

Flexible Learning Classroom discussion
PBL Talk (old forum)

Discussion starter: (we encourage EVERYONE to participate)

What do you think was the most important part of our 3/2 summit? Why do you say that?

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I am just so impressed by the collaboration evidenced by the rock star staff serving our students in the Academies in District 287

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We (Gateway staff) had a really great conversation surrounding students earning dual credit in one course. We thought a great idea might be for English and Social Studies teachers to offer humanities courses, courses that meet both Social Studies and English standards. Each teacher would be a point person for the other, so even though there wouldn’t need to be a ton of collaboration, there would still be an element of co-teaching, which might help us get around the inability of an English teacher to award Social Studies credit, and vice versa.

We also thought that math and science could forge effective partnerships in this way as well.


I feel like meeting all the people it affects was really valuable, hearing all of our voices, tapping into all of our experience - that was a great source of value.


I really like this idea Gateway folks - let us know how we can help you develop the course - maybe project time this summer?

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I have really enjoyed learning from everyone today!

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I thought yesterday was a great experience and invaluable as we develop our programs. I’m particularly excited that we are ahead of the game, already thinking about next year and beyond. It’s easy to always be playing “catch up,” but that isn’t the case here.

One thing that really struck me was what Leslie mentioned at the end of the day, that sites that are doing more blended and online learning are looking to incorporate more direct instruction into their model, and sites that are doing more direct instruction are looking to add more blended learning. All sites seem to want to incorporate more PBL. In our NECA group we talked a lot about developing a more flexible learning environment for next year. There is another thread on the forum about that topic.

What strikes me, though, is that as teachers we tend to look for solutions in the way we deliver curriculum, for a problem that really doesn’t have a curricular solution. I’m talking about student engagement, motivation, and grit. Currently W-ALT, NECA, SECA, and Gateway each share that struggle, even though the instructional models vary considerably from site to site. I don’t think we will find a magic curriculum or instructional model that fixes our problems of student engagement, motivation, and grit. Those issues need to be addressed in the way we connect with, relate to, and support students. Another thing we talked about in the NECA group was our student support model. We currently have a very good intake and orientation model and we have a student support team that meets weekly to plan interventions for students. We’d like to enhance that considerably, possibly including regular follow up team-meetings after a student starts. For example, maybe a month after their intake meeting, there is another team meeting with parent/guardian in order to follow up and provide more feedback, monitoring, etc. A couple months after that there is another team meeting, etc.

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Thanks for that thoughtful post… will add links to related discussions in the top post.

Someone at SECA came across this article about flexible seating / classroom redesign and sent it out for consideration as we re-boot.

Student-Centered Classroom

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