It Takes A Village…

We’re all here in New York!  It was a tremendous feat to get 31 people to the bus stop at UVM’s Davis Center yesterday, and the village came together to make it all happen.  People woke up at a ridiculously early hour, drove around to pick up all the participants, parked their cars, and walked back on a chilly Vermont morning.  Some of our participants needed to find child care for their children, some needed to reschedule meetings, some needed to make sub plans, some needed to do mountains of homework for classes they missed.  The group really moved mountains in order to be together for this learning experience — in many ways, we’ve accomplished many of our goals by the fact that we are all here together.  We are a group of students, parents, teachers, community leaders, and school administrators.  I’m awed and humbled to see the way that this trip is a microcosm of the commitment that folks in Burlington and Winooski feel to our schools, to our young people, to our communities.

Already the conversations have been amazing.  We are looking forward to seeing New York Performance Standards Consortium Schools and the iSchool today.  Our framing questions for the tour are:

– How does effective proficiency-based learning look?

– How can schools best serve all of their diverse students?

None of the schools that we will visit have it all figured out, and even if they did, we can’t simply transplant a school that is working in New York City to Winooski or Burlington, Vermont.  The point is that we will see and experience many interesting things that schools are trying.  We will see classes, talk with teachers and students, and bring our own perspectives and expertise to the table as we all work to make sure our schools are places where every single student is cared for, challenged, and prepared for a successful, fulfilling life beyond high school.

Please follow our journey at our Twitter hash tag #P4CNYCtour

Partnership for Change Group to Learn from NYC!

On Sunday January 6th, at 7:00am, a group of 30 individuals from Burlington and Winooski will gather at the Megabus pick-up at UVM to embark on a learning journey to New York City.  I have been working to make this tour a reality for many months now, and am very excited as it approaches.

Our group includes students, parents, teachers, administrators, and community members from both cities.  We are going to NYC because there are schools and community organizations there that have done exceptional work in proficiency-based learning and serving their diverse student bodies, particularly ELL students.  We will be visiting schools from the Internationals Network and the New York Performance Standards Consortium, among others.  See our full itinerary here.

Although we will certainly learn a lot from the sites we visit, the real power of the tour lies in the learning community that we will create amongst our group.  For our schools and communities to have their best future, we need to learn, grow, and work together as a diverse group from many backgrounds, playing many different roles.

Please follow our journey by watching this blog where we will post reflections, video, and information about our Twitter feed for the tour.