October 29: How curriculum is changing in schools and essential literacies we should be teaching students K-12

Covid has made school leaders rethink the essential literacies students need. How are they reimagining the K-12 curriculum to prepare students for their future? “Curriculum really does need to be collaborative,” said Dr. Mary Catherine Reljac, superintendent of Fox Chapel Area School District in Pittsburgh. When curriculum focuses on collaboration between adults and children, she said, “all of us are a little bit smarter as a result.” It’s also vital that curriculum be meaningful to students: “When we are giving students authentic tasks that are worthy of their time, it really means something in a curricular cycle,” Reljac said. Dr. David Miyashiro, Cajon Valley Union School District in El Cajon, California, reinforced that notion of making learning meaningful to students’ lives and giving students a true voice in their own learning. At his school, where students host their own annual TEDx conference, Miyashiro told the audience that curriculum is built with this quote from John Adams in mind: “There are two educations. One should teach us how to make a living and the other how to live.”

Find the full session here.

November 5: How learning will look in the future and how this experience will impact how schools educate students

The school experience for students, teachers, families and caregivers has changed dramatically in the past nine months. In this final session, Digital Promise Executive Director Kimberly Smith and Dennis Henderson, deputy CEO of Manchester Academic Charter School in Pittsburgh spoke about the remarkable innovation they’ve been seeing from teachers and the enthusiastic support those teachers have gotten from administrators. Among the most exciting innovations: Digital learning gives students access to educators beyond their geographic area. Children can “truly connect beyond the walls of their school,” Henderson told the audience. “To say that a year ago, it would have sounded totally radical. But the truth is that this can happen right now. We can really meet the needs of students and they can identify educators that resonate with them.” Smith agreed: “Districts are evolving their models for reaching students and families,” she said. “The future is here. We’re living it.”

Find the full session here.

Remake Learning

Dr. Bart Rocco welcomes attendees to the final Transform for Tomorrow: What’s Working in Schools Now? session on November 5.

Through these five seminars and the many conversations they have sparked, “the Transform for Tomorrow Series exemplified the mission of the Grable Foundation, which is to improve the lives of children,” Rocco says. “We provided an opportunity for educators to learn and grow from great local and national leaders about how they are managing operations of schools during COVID 19. What these educators shared will have a positive impact on children in schools around the country.”

This article is part of a series called “Tomorrow” by Remake Learning. Through virtual events, grantmaking and storytelling, the series will explore what we can do today to make tomorrow a more promising place for all learners. Follow along or share your hopes for today’s young people using the hashtag #RemakeTomorrow and tagging @RemakeLearning. Learn more about Remake Learning here. And read more “Tomorrow” articles published on Kidsburgh.