As a sneak peek, I'd like to give you an idea of what we did and where we went here in sunny San Diego, thanks to the Education Writers Association and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-- one of the main movers and shakers in the small-school movement in the U.S.
- Sunday was all about panels-- we heard perspectives from New York, Chicago and San Diego / L.A. from experts and researchers on how small high schools have been setup and what it is about them that works. We had some divergent opinions amongst our various panelists that I'll get into in subsequent posts.
- Monday we travelled to Kearney High School campus, a public school in the San Diego Unified School District. The high school is one of three formerly "large" schools whose campuses were modified and now contains four "small schools" within the same physical space, a campus that houses approximately 2,000 students. We spent time in the School of International Business and the Construction Tech Academy.
- Monday afternoon, we travelled to Lincoln High School, a large urban high school which closed for five years and then was re-opened four school years ago. It remains one large 2,400-student school administratively, but contains for small "learning community" campuses. All Grade 9s enter a social justice program, and then in Grade 10 attend one of three other campuses-- science and technology, arts or public safety.
- Tuesday, we spent the morning and early afternoon at High Tech High, a publicly funded charter school located on former naval lands. The school has a mix of public and private-foundation funding, and contains three "small" high schools-- the original High Tech High, High Tech High International and High Tech High Media Arts. The campus we visited also contains a middle and elementary school campus.
More on these schools and the sessions in the coming days as I review my notes and think of how to frame some posts. I did take some photos and even one video, which I'll embed as appropriate.