This Thursday – Alliance of Model Schools Celebration
This blog post was written by Shefon Taylor, Marketing and Development Coordinator at Innovative Schools.
This Thursday, members of The Alliance of Models Schools – a group comprised of educators, businesses, and community members committed to fostering the concept of Deeper Learning innovations in the design and delivery of education across Delaware – are gathering to celebrate a host of accomplishments and milestones, including the first graduating class of Delaware New Tech Academy at Seaford High School. The celebration comes after the release of a report by the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) this past March in the State Education Standard, “The Learner and Learning: 2013 and Beyond,” that focuses specifically on the Deeper Learning model. Delaware’s own Executive Director of the State Board of Education, Donna Johnson, was a member of the NASBE group.
The Alliance of Model Schools is a networking resource started by and for communities and schools that are exploring, planning, or implementing deeper learning school designs. The term deeper learning was coined by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and is defined in the NASBE report as “an education that not only facilitates mastery of academic content, but other key competencies as well, including critical thinking and problem solving, effective communication, collaboration, learning how to learn, self-regulation, and academic mindsets important for success in college, career and civic life.” With changes in technology impacting the job market, deeper learning takes a different approach to public education to prepare students to be productive thinkers, workers and citizens in the 21st Century global economy. Noteworthy academic programs that are categorized as deeper learning include the New Tech Network, EdWorks FastTrack (Early College), Expeditionary Learning and the Big Picture Learning models.
The effort was initiated and led by Innovative Schools, a non-profit public school support center, to bring deeper learning to Delaware. The organization successfully established number of partnerships with the four national deeper learning school models to replicate in Delaware. The innovative programs were first adopted by forward thinking educators in Seaford School District, with whom Innovative Schools partnered to implement the first New Tech High School. This June, Delaware New Tech Academy at Seaford High School will celebrate its first graduating class. Seaford’s success has led to even more communities adopting deeper learning academic program as new or redesigned charter schools including Early College High School at Delaware State University, Kuumba Academy, Positive Outcomes Charter School, Academia Antonia Alonso, the Delaware Met, Sussex Academy of Arts and Sciences, First State Military Academy, The Early Learning Center at the Latin American Community Center and two new charter applicants, Delaware STEM Academy and Mapleton Charter School at Whitehall.
Along with keynote speaker Ted Fujimoto, a founder of the New Tech Network and member of Innovative Schools’ Advisory Board, guests will hear from senior high school students who comprise the inaugural class of Delaware New Tech Academy at Seaford High School during the Alliance’s spring celebration. Other highlights of the evening will include recognition of the Founding Boards of deeper learning schools in the state and an exhibition for deeper learning academic programs to showcase products of their student’s learning.
The Alliance of Model Schools Spring Celebration will take place this Thursday May 1st from 5:30 – 7:30 pm in the Maple Dale Country Club located at 180 Maple Dale Road in Dover, Delaware. If you are interested in attending or supporting the celebration, register here!