The Opportunity - designing a new charter high school with the following essentials: authentic student engagement, focus on 21st century skills, high quality, rigorous, meaningful curriculum and instruction, success orientation

The Components - multiple authentic assessments, personalized learning, flexible use of time and structure, professional development (for teachers and leaders to support this kind of teaching and learning), business and community engagement

The Challenges: integrated performance based curriculum that will meet the needs of individual students yet satisfy the state requirements of meeting standards; staff prepared to implement this kind of instruction and learning; very little time in which to plan and initiate the beginning of the school!

Has anyone experience in building this kind of learning environment? How did you go about developing the appropriate authentic learning opportunities for individual students? How did you accommodate state mandates?

HELP!

Tags: 21st, Century, Learning, alternative, authentic, curriculum, engagement, learning, performance-based

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That's not too surprising. I've been in education long enough to know that this kind of change is huge and just doesn't happen quickly. Unfortunately, I don't think we have the luxury of time - or the complaint that we don't have enough time - to deliberate whether or not this kind of learning is worth the investment.

Perhaps there's a way to begin some online or virtual collaboration among educators who are talented enough to design/build a library of integrated project/problem-based units that we can share and modify for our own needs.

Do you know of any such thing?
I do know that a few fellow Classroom 2.0 friends might be interested in collaborating in just such a way. I think it's doable, may be "clunky" at first, but certainly worth a try. I guess that is what collaborating on something new in new ways is like, but I believe the end product yields good stuff.

Thanks for the encouragement and information.
There is an awesome charter school in New Mexico called Southwest Secondary Learning Center... look it up. They are former principals who decided to start a grassroots effort and are now one of the leading charter schools in the state/country... They are doing amazing things... not enough time to taalk about here, but they were people just like you that wanted to do something differnet and they are doing an amazing job. I've been there and have seen what the kids do and how they operate. Truly amazing.

http://www.sslc-nm.com/home.html
Thank you! I will certainly check this school out. I think the fact that these are administrators who left the rank and file to start something innovative is a positive!
You might try checking out the Science Leadership School in Philadelphia or High TEch High in San Diego for some ideas!
Thanks. I will certainly tap into these resources.

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