This is the online stream for sharing conversations that happened throughout the Greater Bay Area from March through June 2012 around the question:

How can we collectively transform public education through the arts to create a better future for everyone?

Please join the conversation and follow us on Twitter and Facebook

Hello from Carolyn S. Carr

Name Carolyn S. Carr
Date of conversation Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Conversation Participants Mike Walbridge, San Leandro USD; Zach Kahn, Muir Middle School; Carrie Wilson, Mills Teacher Scholars; Claire Bove, Mills Teacher Scholars; Cynthia Medina, ACOE/ ELD; Ai Vu, ACOE/ IMSS; Tana Johnson, ACOE/ Alliance; Louise Music, ACOE/ Alliance; Carolyn Carr, ACOE/ Alliance.
Meeting Topics?
This meeting was a convening of IMSS/TARI Planning and Implementation Group. IMSS stands for Integrating Middle School Science and TARI for Teacher Action Research Institute. This collaboration of educators is working in San Leandro on science, arts and ELA integration in middle schools. In an effort to develop a professional development plan for the next 3 years of IMSS/TARI work in San Leandro, we engaged in a “Back to the Future” envisioning process. First, projecting to September 2015, what does it look like for teachers, students, and district administrators? Next, we looked at where we are today. We then “plotted” how to get there from here.
Where are we now? Share key takeaways • There is a tension between pacing guide and integration application and inquiry approaches
• There is a conflict between the pacing guide and where students were at
• District recognition that teacher leadership and knowledge are necessary for decision making about pacing guide foundation to be changed and improved to meet learning needs of students
• There is an excitement about altering pacing guide and transforming content through the arts
• Shelley and Gaia have approaches to teaching science by learning from students, looking closely at students
Where should we go, and why? Share key takeaways
In September 2015 we envision:
• Every Science & ELA middle school teacher is integrating the arts to deepen content knowledge
• Cross disciplinary planning time is regular practice across grade levels
• Course A- like PLC groups are talking about integration
• Teachers are experts at integrating and it is the way we teach now in San Leandro
• President of Rhode Island School of Design has invited San Leandro students to present model STEAM example
• Teachers are going into each other’s classrooms to collect data for each other’s research
• Common formative assessments, aligned to new common core standards and teacher inquiry questions were aligned
• Roosevelt school presented to all SLUSD principals about how formative and summative assessments are improved through inquiry and teacher action research
• August 2012 coaching academy/ TARI site leads were active participants/ Roosevelt/ Mills Scholars Project – bringing all of the professional development together/ looking at common assessments and data from active research – the idea of date was expanded
• Teachers responded to a deeper trust; adding a sense of professionalism
• Teachers look responsibly as a new culture emerged
• Teachers are using performance-based assessments and are able to clearly convey what their students are learning and how it aligns with new common core standards
• SLUSD has been a model from California of elementary and middle school math, science, ELA and arts common core standards
• Teachers and students are using real life issues and problems as their course of study
• Collaborations with California Academy of Science and Chabot Space and Science Center
• San Leandro students are thinking, acting as scientists and connecting with scientist in their labs
• Families and students were central presenters at our August 2015 Summer Institute called “The Future is Now”
• SLUSD students are all deeply engaged in their learning and are excited about their important role to play in their future
• Students and teachers are able to explicitly describe how the racial achievement gap was closed
• Excited students, teachers and administrators
• Strong bridge built from elementary, middle to high to world
• SLUSD teachers are talking about constant improvement
• Students and teachers all use a common language about reflecting, observing and engaging and persisting…
• Science teachers are engaged together in discovering and deepening their science content
• Science teachers are using metaphor and analogy to convey deeper understanding of science concepts – cells, atoms, gravity
How Should we get there? Share key takeaways
How shall we get there?
• Teachers across schools come together and develop common assessments
• E-newsletter next steps for going deeper 1. IMSS in May 2. May 19 retreat 3. June 5 Mills Teacher Scholars
• EdModo model improves communication shared work, create blogs. Carolyn Carr and Ai Vu work together to make this resource available to SLUSD teachers
• Site leads are identified at middle schools and 10-12 site leads presented at conferences on EL, common core, etc.
• Roosevelt teachers are a model that other schools learn from
• IMSS/ TARI/ Mills leaders pay attention to where teachers are at and provide coherent, coordinated aligned instruction
• Mills Scholars project provides essential insights into teacher learning and ongoing improvement
• Science teachers are asking “how is art going to help me improve instruction and student learning outcomes?”
• There is a cultural shift that teachers can and need to change/ respond according to knowledge developed by looking at what students are doing, saying and making
• March 22, 2012 three science teachers, two EL teachers, one are teacher, one instructional lead, eight elementary site leads attended
• There was a sense of refreshment being with teachers from across grade and content levels and an excitement of an expanded view
• Excitement for potential of cross curriculum planning
• It was a taste – teachers wanted more…
Next Steps? Keep communications ongoing. Create an E-Newsletter
to update all IMSS/TARI teachers and principals

Promote involvement/attendance to:

1. Leadership Retreat May 19 at Jefferson El, SLUSD

2. “Inventing Our Future” Summer Institute, August 7-9, 2012