← Conversations

How teachers can redesign their schools

Session 3
Andrew Biros, Montgomery Ogden, Charlie McGeehan, Erin Feerick, Charles O'connor, Ismael Jiminez, and Honor Furtek — School District of Philadelphia

Kensington Creative & Performing Arts High School is a high needs, neighborhood public high school in Philadelphia, that serves a disproportionately high number of Emotional Support, Special Education, & English Language Learning students. KCAPA teachers have undertaken a redesign of their school, with a focus on reading, writing & research. In order to support this redesign, this group of teachers made the commitment to overhauling their curriculum, and adopting a 1:1 Chromebook model.

Our conversation will detail the three stages of our initiative: Developing a Vision, Pre-Rollout & Iteration. The conversation will seek to provide a space to discuss, generate and share best practices and resources for teachers who are keen to undertake similar teacher-led initiatives at their schools. This includes working with administration, instructional technology resources, and issues to consider when redesigning.

Conversational Practice

This conversation's purpose is to share best practices & student reflection, in order to instill in teachers the resolve to make instructional change at their schools.

Our conversation will begin with a poll about types of change teachers want to make at their school. After the poll has been collected, we will ask teachers who chose the same instructional or school based categories to form groups.

Each group will be given chart paper & will have a student from KCAPA paired with them. The conversation will focus on 3 stages – Developing a Vision, Pre-Rollout & Iteration. Going through each stage sequentially, we will share best practices and hurdles/successes that we faced. Then, we will ask groups to develop & think deeply about how these stages might look concerning their shared focus. In so much, groups will be asked to envision hurdles & develop questions about each stage, in order to share them with the large group & discussion facilitators, so that potential solutions can be generated.

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