BETTER MAKE ROOM FOR YAJAIRA

Yajaira is a San Francisco student who credits Envision with helping her transform from a shy ninth grader into a confident and independent young woman.

yajaira_student-voices

College is extremely important to Yajaira, and she feels “happy and blessed,” thanks to her school and her own hard work, that she is prepared and planning for college success.  She’ll be a “first gen” college student, and she’s ready!

RON THOMPSON: POSSE SCHOLAR!

ronthompson_bu_posse2A few weeks ago, we introduced our Envision friends and supporters to Ron Thompson with this postcard.  He is another of our college bound seniors, and this week, he, his family, and the Envision community are celebrating some great news:

Next fall, Ron will be attending Boston University with a four-year, full tuition Posse Foundation scholarship!  This competitive award recognizes Ron’s academic excellence, his strong leadership capacity, and his commitment to hard work.  For Ron, who will be a first generation college graduate, going to college is all about opening new doors for himself and making his parents proud.  Today, he has made all of us very proud to know and celebrate him.

Since 1989, the Posse Foundation has identified, recruited and trained 6,993 public high school students with extraordinary academic and leadership potential to become Posse Scholars; college students in this leadership group graduate at a rate of 90 percent and make a visible difference on their campuses and throughout their professional careers.

Please join us in congratulating Ron for his selection and the Posse Foundation for choosing this bright young scholar!  And a big thank you to all of our friends and supporters: your generosity helps make stories like Ron’s possible.

REFLECTIONS FOR OUR COMMUNITY

hands-heart-swirlDear Envision Community,

This historic election has left many of us with concerns and questions for ourselves and for the students and families we serve. Throughout this election cycle, immigrants, people of color, the LGBT community, women, Muslims, and others have been targeted and denigrated. In the face of the election results, Envision Education reaffirms what we stand for: justice, equity, respect, and community.

We do not sit back in response to bigotry, exclusion, misogyny or intolerance. When we see injustice, we speak out and take action, and we do everything we can to support and uplift every member of our community. And we will continue to do so. While there’s much uncertainty in the upcoming years, what is clear is that our mission is more important than ever.

Our daily work of supporting our students’ intellectual and social development will continue to be our main priority. This is the most powerful action we can take as a community. We are proud that we have already seen students respond to the election results in ways that demonstrate our core values: at Envision Academy, students created posters representing the world they want to live in, showing hope and love for each other, and they organized a school-wide action to share those beliefs; at Impact Academy, students and faculty formed circles to engage in conversations that allowed all voices and differing views to be heard, and students also communicated with other youth in Hayward to show solidarity and organize a response; and at City Arts & Tech, students shared their reactions – fears, hopes, and ideas – on posters hanging in the hallways, giving them a public place to express themselves and find community. We are also proud that Envision Learning Partners, our consulting and training division, is spreading our model and our fundamental values to students across the country.

Ultimately, our students’ resilience, wisdom, and compassion is a testament to the foundation we are building to ensure all future generations live in a country that celebrates our diversity and builds bridges that unite us.

In solidarity,

Gia (CEO) and The Envision Team

 

hands-heart-swirlEstimada comunidad de Envision:

Estas históricas elecciones nos han dejado con preocupaciones y preguntas para nosotros y para los alumnos y familias a los que damos servicio. A lo largo de este proceso electoral, los inmigrantes, la gente de color, la comunidad LGBT, las mujeres, los musulmanes y otros grupos han sido señalados y denigrados. De cara a los resultados de las elecciones, Envision Education reafirma los valores en los que creemos: justicia, equidad, respeto y comunidad.

No nos quedamos de brazos cruzados cuando vemos fanatismo ciego, exclusión, misoginia o intolerancia. Cuando vemos injusticias, hablamos sobre ellas y tomamos medidas, y hacemos todo lo posible para apoyar y elevar la moral de los miembros de nuestra comunidad. Y seguiremos haciéndolo. A pesar de la incerteza de los años venideros, es claro que nuestra misión cobra gran importancia.

Nuestro trabajo diario de apoyar el desarrollo intelectual y social seguirá siendo nuestra prioridad primordial. Esta es la acción más importante que podemos tomar como comunidad. Estamos enorgullecemos que ya hemos visto estudiantes respondiendo a los resultados electorales de maneras acordes a nuestros valores: en Envision Academy, los estudiantes crearon carteles representando el mundo en que queremos vivir, mostrando esperanza y amor para con el prójimo, y han organizado una campaña a nivel escolar para compartir esas creencias; en Impact Academy, los alumnos y los miembros de la facultad formaron círculos de conversarción y escuchan a las voces que diferían, y los alumnos se comunicaron con otros jóvenes de Hayward para mostrar su solidaridad y organizar una respuesta; y en City Arts & Tech, los alumnos compartieron sus reacciones –miedos, esperanzas e ideas– en carteles que colgaron en los pasillos, un sitio público donde expresarse y encontrar personas de pensamientos afines. También estamos orgullosos de que Envision Learning Partners, nuestra división de consultoría y capacitación, que ha difundido nuestro modelo y valores fundamentales a alumnos de todo el país.

Al final, la resistencia, inteligencia y compasión de nuestros estudiantes es testamento de las bases que hemos construido para asegurar que todas las generaciones venideras viven en un país que celebra nuestra diversidad y crea puentes que nos conectan.

Solidariamente,

Gia (CEO) y el Envision Team

 

 

MEET RON, A STUDENT OF ENVISION

Ron lives in Antioch with his family, which means he spends 3-4 hours a day getting to and from school. He chooses this commute because of the community Envision offers him: a place to learn and grow, play basketball, and prepare for college, with peers and teachers who have his back through thick and thin.  He’s definitely #collegebound, and we can’t wait to hear where he lands next fall!
ron_student-voices_ee

ELECTION RESOURCES FOR YOUR CLASSROOM

 

check
This  election is perhaps one of the most teachable moments in a decade, rife with possibilities for meaningful discussions and critical thinking.   How are you engaging your students in the conversation?  Envision Learning Partners can help!  Try Envision’s proven successful  Project Based Learning Election Unit, offering everything from daily lesson plans to unit outcomes to performance assessment rubrics.  Click here for Project-Based Learning election resources for your classroom.

TO MY WONDERFUL TEACHERS

sunny-zhang

Dear Teachers,

I’ve been blessed with many ‘aha’ moments while in your classrooms. For sixteen years, my only job was to be a student. My experiences in your classrooms were limited to learning in class, doing my homework, and studying for exams. I was always on the receiving end and never thought about my education from your perspective.

A few weeks ago, right before starting my new role as special projects coordinator with Envision Learning Partners, I spent two days in Los Angeles at a Linked Learning conference with Justin Wells, a talented deeper learning coach and ELP’s Vice President of Program. My goal was to acquaint myself with Envision and how ELP shares the Envision model with districts like Los Angeles USD. And while I did learn new terms such as “linked learning,” “pathways,” and “portfolio defense,”, it wasn’t completely clear to me how they fit together or why the deeper learning pedagogy was more effective than traditional teaching practices. But as I attended more workshops and got a better understanding of the jargon, I realized I wasn’t so far removed from these concepts, and began to recognize the similarities between linked learning and my own high school experience.

I always knew that my school, High Tech, wasn’t a traditional high school, but it took three thousand and some miles for me to realize that it was so much more than just a STEM-focused high school. From conducting individual research projects to experimenting with codes and programs – we were deeply engaged in experiential learning. We presented our work to professionals and operated industry standard machinery. All of this was topped off with an opportunity to further develop our skills and interests through internships our senior year. Each of these separate experiences informed the next, and together, you created a wonderfully connected, cohesive learning journey. From learning by doing, I was even more focused and able to see the direct application of concepts learned in your classes to real world careers. The experiences you provided me helped me understand the effectiveness and value of a linked learning education.

However, in my opinion, the more valuable takeaway for me was realizing how much deliberate thought and care you, and other teachers across the country, put into designing and assembling a great curriculum. I realized this on a hot summer day in LA, surrounded by teachers, counselors, and administrators who gathered for those few days to help their students excel before they even entered the classroom – they could have easily been at the beach! I know your job isn’t easy, but I have a new sense of appreciation after seeing teachers intricately planning their school years, mapping backwards and giving all the necessary intermediary steps and details careful thought.

On that note, I’d like to give a very belated thank you to you, my dedicated teachers from the past sixteen plus years. I have a unique opportunity now to witness the work teachers do each day to ensure student success. I am incredibly excited to support all of the awesome teachers and schools working with ELP that are making an impact in the lives of students they serve. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if I, or Envision Learning Partners, can support you in any way. It’s going to be a great year!

With gratitude,

Sunny


This post is from Sunny Zhang.  Sunny joined Envision Learning Partners this summer as a Special Projects Coordinator and will be supporting ELP’s work and seeking new ways to share ELP’s services with others.  

TAKE A DRIVE WITH GIA!

principals-of-change-podcast-artwork-1-768x741Gia Truong is featured in a new videocast series from Daniel Allen Executive Director of School Renewal and Wes Kriesel, Coordinator of 21st Century Learning.  This series is a fun and innovative dive into the most interesting topics in education today, from people who are leading change efforts in their schools and networks.

Join the carpool conversation by clicking here!

A NEW BOOK FROM AN ENVISION TEACHER

9780807758083Heart and mind blend in this remarkable story of a teacher and her students working with courageous determination to create an education that values young people and gives weight and meaning to their lives.” —Mike Rose, UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies

Check out Personal Narrative, Revised: Writing Love and Agency in the High School Classroom, by Bronwyn LaMay.  Bronwyn is the 10th grade English teacher at our Hayward school, Impact Academy.  This inspirational book, from Teachers College Press, explores how teachers can transform classrooms and schools into places where students explore the intersection between literacy and their lives.

Congrats Bronwyn!  We can’t wait to read and share your work!