I had my first opportunity to meet with the MCS school board last night. They held a special meeting for me to present my ideas for a new Christian high school. I wanted to encourage an open discussion on the possibility for a school, so I developed a simple PowerPoint presentation to introduce some of my reflections and musings on what a Christian high school could look like for the 21st century. I was careful to emphasize the need for a paradigm shift as we consider hybird learning as part of the high school experience.
While carefully considering the mission of the school, I felt it was important to align my thinking and presentation to the CSI Standards for accreditation. Part of this included introducing “what works in schools” (Marzano, 2003) as part of the presentation, too. I shared a vision for curricular themes across the disciplines and necessary 21st century fluencies that we would need to foster in our students, the teaching and practice of which would need to be appropriately integrated throughout the curriculum. I attempted to paint a picture of what the students would be experiencing in the school and provided an overview of a daily timetable. Finally, I also wanted to present what we would expect from our teachers and how we would need to support them in this setting.
I recall that the board followed the presentation quite closely and remained interested in the new ideas. A time for questions and discussion followed. Questions for clarification on how the school would run on so few specialists were addressed. Indeed, gaining a better understanding on how to balance on-campus project-based learning with a learning commons challenged us to consider a new way of experiencing high school. I was most encouraged that the board voted immediately to pursue further this exciting project.