Thursday, April 28, 2016

U.S. News & World Report Ranks Summit Schools in Top 10% in Nation

Summit Public Schools has once again been named among America’s Best High Schools by U.S. News & World Report! Achieving Gold Awards, our Redwood City schools, Summit Prep and Everest, both ranked in the top 21 high schools in California and top 10 percent of all high schools nationwide.

Our high schools in San Jose, Summit Rainier and Summit Tahoma, also received accolades. Both achieved Bronze Awards for their high performance in state exams. Read more about our schools' U.S. News & World Report rankings here.

In addition, all four schools made it on to Washington Post’s list of Most Challenging Schools in America for promoting rigor and college & career readiness for all of our students. 
We are all incredibly proud of our students, families, and faculty! 
“This honor reflects the hard work of our teachers, staff, and students. At Summit, we have an unrelenting belief that every student can achieve his or her goals in college, career and life and this core principle is evident in each and every one of our schools. I’m extremely proud of our team.”  
Diane Tavenner, CEO of Summit Public School

Summit Denali Student’s Photo on Display in Vice President’s Home

“Orange Waves” by Ellen Hu is currently on display in Vice President Joe Biden’s home
The photograph, “Orange Waves,” by Ellen Hu, an 8th grader at Summit Denali, is one of only 10 photos currently on display in the living room of the Vice President’s home. It was handpicked by National Geographic Kids and the Second Lady of the United States. Ellen shot the photo after watching her sister’s softball game at Ortega Park in Sunnyvale, CA, She was inspired to experiment with a long exposure of the lights in the park. The result -- a beautiful and unique photo.

During 6th grade, Ellen took a photography course during Expeditions. Since then, she has become a keen photographer, regularly sharing her photos online. “Everyone in my family loves photography. It’s a hobby I really enjoy,” said Ellen. What's Ellen’s advice for other budding photographers? “Go out and take photos of things you think look nice. That’s how I started. I didn’t really know what I was taking photos of, I was just taking random photos. You should take them in the moment and see what you find.”
“When my mom emailed me at school to tell me my photo had been selected, I just sat there for a while not able to focus. I was so happy.” Ellen Hu, 8th grader at Summit Denali

Over 90% of Summit Seniors Already Accepted into College!

Over 90% of Summit’s Class of 2016 have already been accepted in a four-year college, and students are still receiving more and more acceptances every day. Summit students have been accepted into over 120 diverse colleges across the nation, including all 9 University of California (UC) campuses, Stanford University, Pomona College, Brown University, Emory University, Villanova and much much more.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

An Inside Look into Mentoring

Mentoring is one of the most unique and special aspects of Summit schools. Every week, students and mentors meet one-on-one for 10 minutes. While 10 minutes may pass by quickly, those 10 minutes build strong relationships, challenge our students to reach their potential, and empower students to be self-directed learners. At the heart of mentoring are our mentors truly understanding their students, and helping them set and reach their personal, academic, and college goals. It’s hard to imagine what the magic of mentoring may look like in practice and the profound impact that it has on our students, so we’ll let our students and teachers share with you their experiencesWatch the video below.     
“Mentoring is to coach students on how to be more effective agents of their own change”

“... if I did not have her as my mentor or in my life at all,  I wouldn’t be where I am now, or  I wouldn’t be looking at my future”

“You definitively learn a lot about each other as people, and it really helps the teacher help you”  

“Kids having the ability to reflect, to set goals, to make plans, to follow-up on those, those are universal skills for success”

EdWeek Highlights Summit's Chief Academic Officer

Photo courtesy of Education Week

"I'm not doing anything now that I didn't always want to do. I became a convert because I saw the academic utility in using technology in a thoughtful and intentional manner." Adam Carter, Chief Academic Officer of Summit Public Schools
Education Week published an article recently that serves as a humbling reminder that any impact we wish to have on students should be personalized and intentional. The article highlights Adam Carter’s personal journey from his early beginnings as an English teacher to becoming a pioneering force as Chief Academic Officer at Summit Public Schools. After working with less-resourced communities in Indonesia, he began to understand the importance of technology in education. His evolution led him back to Summit where he delved into researching technology, cognitive skills, student data, and Habits of Success, as well as collaborating with academic experts from Stanford on integrating online tools into Summit’s curriculum. He now works with our technology, information, and engineering teams to bring all of his research, experience, and learnings into practice with our Personalized Learning Plan (PLP).

To read the full article, click here

3, 2, 1... Action! Expeditions at Summit Rainier

This month, students at Summit Rainier (San Jose) had opportunities to explore their interest in film production and acting during Expeditions. In partnership with Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana (MACLA) in downtown San Jose, students took a Film and Production class taught by a local filmmaker. Students wrote, filmed, produced and edited a film over the course of two weeks. An example of the one of the films students put together is a powerful documentary, Spectrum, that explores gender identity in the communities. Check it out below.
In the Modern Acting Class, students were taught by local playwrights and actors in San Jose in partnership with the School of Art and CultureStudents learned about TV action, blocking, lighting, and acting, all necessary to create these short films like "Saber Fight," starring Kai P. and Amira S.  Enjoy watching it below!

Summit Launches Parent Ambassador Institute

This spring, Summit launched its Parent Ambassador Institute to prepare parents to become advocates for their school, Summit Public Schools, and high-quality educational opportunities for all children in our communities. We hosted a two-session series where over 70 parents of both current and incoming students across both California and Washington schools joined. 

In the sessions, families learned more about Summit, charter schools, and how to amplify their voice. In the first session, Diane Tavenner, Summit's CEO, discussed the history of Summit and the importance of parent voices. Families also had a chance to explore their personal values, as well as learn more about Summit’s personalized learning model and charter schools. In the second session, participants learned how to amplify their voice by developing an elevator pitch and personal story about their experience with Summit. Then, they had the opportunity to share their pitch and story in various role plays with prospective families, media, and elected officials. Our families’ stories were inspiring, moving, and deeply touching, and we look forward hearing more stories in future sessions and parent ambassador actions.   

“The Parent/School Administration Leadership community continues to be amazing. After today I feel much more welcomed to participate in any advocacy process.”
“It has been the best leadership training I ever attended… and I have been in many”. 

“I loved hearing Diane speak about Summit's history”
“Extremely well done! Easy to see why our son has thrived at Summit Prep!”


Top Left: Summit parents share their personal Summit story
Top Right: Parents simulate a local school district board meeting
Bottom: Parents from Summit Tahoma (San Jose) enjoying small group activity during lunch