Open Door Policy: College Success Portfolio Defenses - check out the latest Edutopia blog post by Envision Education founder Bob Lenz.
Envision Learning Partners is holding defense design studios at some of our schools during the month of May. Attendees will learn about and witness a student’s performance assessment. For more information and to register, click here.
CAT Teacher Nominated for Teach for America Award
We know that we have outstanding, committed teachers working at Envision Schools, so we love hearing that their achievements are being recognized in the community. This spring, Erica Magnusson, from City Arts & Tech, was nominated for the Teach for America – Loyola Marymount University 1st Year Urban Teacher Award.
Erica submitted an essay as part of the process, which describes her journey into teaching. She talked about her college sophomore trip to Africa where she taught an 11-year old orphan how to read. After her trip, she returned to her home state of Florida where she began advocating for Africa-related issues. This eventually led to the passing of a resolution in which St. Petersburg, Florida became the 3rd city in the country to use conflict-mineral free technology.
Now Erica brings this passion to CAT, where she teaches Advanced Biology to high school seniors. Even in her first year of teaching, she brought incredible energy to the classroom, rapping vocabulary words and teaching mitosis through square dancing. Her genuine support of her students is also evident. She notes crying tears of joy 200 times in one month, as she read students’ college acceptance letters, scholarship offers and financial aid awards.
Huge Congratulations to Erica from the entire Envision Family! We are honored to have Erica and teachers like her on our team. As Erica put it best, we “believe that every teacher should be recognized and celebrated.” Thank you to all of our teachers for your incredible work at transforming students’ lives.
Envision Education – A Key Player in the National Deeper Learning Movement
Through our consulting and training division, Envision Learning Partners, we are part of a growing network of over 400 schools that are working together to reform education throughout the country. The focus is on integrating a deeper learning approach and deeper learning outcomes into classrooms.
So, what is deeper learning? You know that students are engaged in deeper learning when they can do more than recite facts, but they can transfer what they have learned to other subjects and other projects. Through deeper learning instruction, we want students to:
· Master core academic content
· Think critically and solve complex problems
· Work collaboratively
· Communicate effectively
· Learn how to learn
We use project based learning in our schools to help students get to these deeper learning outcomes. In our college success defense presentations, in which students have to demonstrate what they know in order to graduate, we can assess whether students are reaching these results. Envision Learning Partners collaborates with schools and districts around the country, through training and consulting, to bring the best practices of deeper learning taught at Envision Schools to administrators, teachers and students nationwide. Since its launch, Envision Learning Partners has reached over 1000 educators, impacting education for 15,000 students!
And we aren’t the only ones involved in this effort to bring more robust education
to schools. The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation is strongly behind this movement and has brought together like-minded schools and organizations to work toward transforming education. Educators and policy makers around the country are embracing deeper learning models because they know it provides a greater level of understanding to students and better prepares them for college and careers in the 21st century. We know that a deeper learning-based model works for Envision students and we are excited and hopeful about spreading this approach to teachers and students across the country.
Envision Students Honored
City Arts & Tech students, Kyron Covington and Stacy Thomas, received the 2012 Koshland Young Leader Award, at the San Francisco Foundation’s Community Leadership Awards celebration. The award provides two-year $7,000 scholarships to public high school students who are motivated to succeed and show a commitment to strengthening their communities. Ten students from San Francisco were selected and we are so proud that not one, but two, students from CAT were chosen. Kyron and Stacy received the award and were honored in May and again at the Community Leadership Awards celebration on October 2, 2012.
We are also pleased to announce that Impact Academy student Khushboo Khatri was one of 30 students selected nationally to participate as a Youth Leader with the World Savvy organization. She will travel to Bangladesh for a month this winter to study climate change. Congrats!
Envision Education has moved! We are now located in a great new space in Oakland at:
111 Myrtle Street, Suite 203
Oakland, CA 94607
We are also excited to announce that Envision Schools is now Envision Education. Envision Education encompasses our schools division, with our four high-performing college prep schools in the Bay Area, as well as our consulting division, Envision Learning Partners, which is bringing professional development and coaching to schools and districts around the country.
These two divisions support and are accountable to each other, and together work toward our mission of making college attendance and success a reality for students. Envision Education is now better positioned to transform the lives of students everywhere and to ensure that we are sending graduates to college prepared for that challenge.
As we prepare to celebrate our 10th anniversary in 2013, we are reflecting on all of Envision’s accomplishments over the last decade, and we are constantly looking forward to how we can best serve youth. We are excited about our growth and how, through Envision Learning Partners, we will be able to transform the learning and lives of an even broader number of young people.
Stay tuned as we share exciting developments and achievements over the coming months. Thank you for being a part of our history and growth and a part of the Envision family.
Best to you and yours,
Bob Lenz, CEO
Envision Academy Celebrates Black History Month with Special Screening of the Lucasfilm Ltd. Documentary “Double Victory,” and Original Tuskegee Airmen Panel Discussion
OAKLAND (March 1, 2012) – Envision Academy, a public charter school run by Envision Schools, celebrates Black History month with a special screening of the documentary “Double Victory,” which spotlights the historic role of the first all African American aerial combat unit–known as the Tuskegee Airmen–during World War II.
“Double Victory” is being presented by Envision Academy in conjunction with 100 Black Men of the Bay Area, Inc., as part of the Double Victory Museum Tour, organized by Lucasfilm Ltd. and made available to museums across the country (visit http://www.teamredtails.com for more information). A highlight of the afternoon will be the panel discussion following the screening, featuring original Tuskegee Airmen.
“We view Black History Month as an opportunity to further highlight the rich accomplishments of African Americans, so we’re very proud to have the opportunity to screen this film at the Envision Academy campus here in Oakland and to meet some of the Tuskegee Airmen” said Envision Schools CEO, Bob Lenz. “We’re excited to hear first hand how these pioneering African Americans bravely fought a war on two fronts: fascism abroad and racial injustice and inequality at home.”
“Double Victory” is the companion documentary to the motion picture “Red Tails”; an epic action-packed film inspired by the heroics of the Tuskegee Airmen. The film was released in January 2012.
About Envision Education (www.envisioneducation.org)
Envision Education is a non-profit school reform and charter management organization in the San Francisco Bay Area. Envision Education’s mission is to transform the lives of students, especially those who will be the first in their family to attend college, by preparing them for success in college and in life. Envision operates four innovative college-preparatory high schools in San Francisco, Oakland and Hayward and disseminates its model through Envision Learning Partners, a research, development and training entity. 95% of Envision’s graduates have enrolled in college.
About 100 Black Men of the Bay Area (www.100blackmenba.org)
The San Francisco Bay Area chapter of the 100 Black Men of America, Inc. consists of a group of leading African American men from various professional backgrounds including business, government, education, medicine, law, finance, technology, sales, real estate, engineering and public affairs. We are dedicated to helping African American youth by providing scholarships and mentoring. In addition, we promote health & wellness, entrepreneurship, networking and economic development in order to improve the quality of life for all in our local communities.