Thursday, January 5, 2017

Check Out Our Virtual Tour of Summit Public Schools

We are excited to launch a new online tour of Summit Public Schools! Virtually walk through a day in the life of a student or a teacher at Summit. Whether you have visited a Summit school in the past or are new to the school, we hope that you find this virtual experience valuable as you watch and hear from a teacher and student about our unique Summit school experience. You can begin the tour at https://www.edinnovationlab.com/explore-summit


Friday, December 16, 2016

Teacher Spotlight on Evan Lee, Summit Rainier (San Jose) teacher




My name is Evan Lee. I mentor a whimsical, witty, and wild group of sophomores. I teach Math III to juniors and AP Statistics to seniors at Summit Rainier in San Jose. We learn how to use math to model the world around us and to draw conclusions about our society. I hope to build each of my student’s capacity to think logically and critically through the complexities of math. I began teaching after attending Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland in hopes of becoming a doctor. At Hopkins, my passion for mentoring and giving back to my community flourished. After many inspiring experiences with my mentee and tutees in Baltimore, I decided to become a teacher. I was fortunate enough to return home to the Bay Area and join the Rainier community.

I have loved the opportunity to mentor a diverse group of individuals and strive towards a common goal of college and success in life. Seeing my original mentor group graduate and continuing to cultivate my relationships with them have given me the most happiness out of life so far. Everyday, I look forward to being a part of my current mentees’ high school journeys. I always wish that I had more time for 1-on-1 check-ins on Fridays to work, learn, and laugh alongside my mentees. They are so wonderful to work with, and I am so thankful to the Rainier community for allowing me to build these lifelong relationships.

Outside of teaching and mentoring, I lead a pretty simple life that consists of eating and lifting. I live to eat. I could stand at a taco truck and inhale tacos all night long; eat ten-course meals with my grandparents at our favorite Chinese restaurant; and down In-N-Out burgers after chaperoning school dances. At home, I enjoy watching cooking and eating shows and then honing my skills in the kitchen. To burn off calories, I hit the gym. The sport of powerlifting has been challenging yet rewarding. Just like my mentees and students do at school, I set a goal, make a plan, and work to achieve my lifting goals at the gym.

Cognitive Skills - What Are They?


Cognitive skills are the critical thinking skills that will stay with students long after they’ve forgotten content knowledge. These skills are transferable across all subjects and are vital to ensure success in college, career, and life.   For example, content learned in history isn’t necessarily applicable to science, but if we teach students how to analyze multiple perspectives, students can apply those skills in both history and science. Other cognitive skills include the ability to research, analyze information, problem-solve, develop an argument, and communicate effectively.
      
At Summit, students spend the majority of their time working on projects that develop their cognitive skills. Across their entire academic career at Summit, students are practicing and progressing across the same cognitive skills. We developed which cognitive skills we focus on and how they are graded in partnership with Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning and Equity (SCALE), ensuring alignment of the cognitive skills rubric to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and grade level competencies. If a student can master Summit's cognitive skills, they can adapt and succeed in our ever-changing world!
  

Summit Recognized as one of Most Innovative Schools in World


Our personalized learning model has been recognized in Business Insider's article on the 14 Most Innovative Schools in the WORLD!  Bill Gates commented that by taking an active role in their education, kids learn responsibility and self-reliance.

         

Friday, November 18, 2016

Mark Zuckerberg Visits Summit Everest to Talk with Students & Teachers

Last week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg sat down with students and teachers at Everest to hear about their experiences with personalized learning and he shared his experience on his Facebook profile.

During his visit, Zuckerberg noted the accomplishments of our students and teachers when he said, “What students and teachers at Everest -- and all the Summit schools -- are doing is really special. They're making the most of the opportunities they have, but they also feel a responsibility to help shape the way kids everywhere learn. It makes me even more excited to bring personalized learning tools to as many students and teachers as we can.”

Check out a video of the conversation between Mark and Everest students & teachers here 
      

Faculty Profile: Jim Ohlinger, Math Teacher at Summit Olympus

         

Jim Ohlinger joined Summit this year after earning his teaching credential at Western Governors University. A baseball coach and father of four, Jim has spent much of his adult life supporting kids facing obstacles - All four of his children are adopted and three of them experienced challenging early years in Uganda. After understanding the important role an adult can play in a child’s development, Ohlinger decided to devote his career to teaching. Jim and his family are pictured above.

Where can you find him during the week? 
Working through complex math problems with students, and ensuring his students are empowered to solve problems independently and collaboratively.

What could you reach out to him for? 
Supporting students facing challenging or traumatic home and life situations.  Jim recommends focusing on giving struggling students a routine they can rely on, which provides them with a lot of comfort.

What is the best thing he has worked on this year?  
Participating in professional development program where he learned how to balance having high expectations for students while connecting with them and building trust. He has enjoyed implementing those lessons with his students who understand that he expects them to always be trying their best.

Why does he love working at Summit? 
He loves the opportunity to really get to know his students, particularly Friday mentor days where he can spend the entire day with his mentor group.

What can you he be found doing on the weekend?
Taking mini-vacations with his family.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Spotlight on a Summit Shasta (Daly City) Teacher & Student

TEACHER SPOTLGITH: CHELSEA WATTS


When did you join the Summit Community? I joined the Summit community this summer after teaching in Pacifica for a number of years.
What is your favorite thing about Summit Shasta:? While I miss my Pacifica family, I love Summit's innovative model and commitment to excellence for every student. Summit Shasta's diverse student population provides opportunities for powerful conversations around community, and how we can contribute as thoughtful members of society. I am so impressed by the students on this campus!
How does personalized learning help you and your students reach their long-term goals? Personalized learning provides students the opportunity to have a greater stake in their learning. Utilizing tools like the PLP, small group workshops, office hours, and dedicated teachers, Summit provides students the rare opportunity to make choices relevant to their academic and personal goals.
Why do you think it is important to work on cognitive skills? Cognitive skills can be applied across subject areas and any passion in life.  Rather than just focusing on content, something that does not bear the same universality, when we practice cognitive skills, we are practicing for life.
How does Summit Shasta model the college experience? The importance that we place on students owning their own education in many ways replicates what they will experience in college.  For example, offering office hours and guided workshops both build both habits of success and the skills needed to attack any content.
What is one random fact about you that you are really proud of or that you feel like you bring to your community? I am proud of the professional experience that I bring to Shasta. Summit schools often attract young teachers, many of whom are excited to help shape an innovative educational institution. With my many years of experience in a public school setting, I bring a different perspective to the table - one that I hope to use to make Shasta even better for our students. 
 

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: JEREMY BOAC

When did you join the Summit Community? 2016- this year
What is your favorite thing about Summit Shasta?  My favorite thing about Summit Shasta is the trust in the students and students having the responsibility to do work on their own on laptops
How do you track how you are doing in your classes? On the PLP, I check to see what I need to be working on and where I am behind. I also check-in with my teachers in and outside of the classroom.
Why do you think it is important to work on cognitive skills? It is important to learn cognitive skills because it will help you focus on details and make your product even better. College will look at the details you put into work to see if you are working at a college level.
How is Shasta preparing you for college? Shasta is preparing me for college by always pushing me on the PLP and showing what I need to study. I take everything I learned on the PLP into the projects.
What is one random fact about you that you are really proud of or that you feel like you bring to your community? I love basketball and I will play on the Shasta team!