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


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. 


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!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Summit Public Schools -- Our Results

Summit Supports Families with College Applications

Every Summit school shares the same mission-- to prepare a diverse student population for success in a four-year college or university, and to be thoughtful, contributing members of society. We believe students will be most successful if they attend a college that is the right fit for them academically, socially, and emotionally, and we provide resources, experiences, and guidance to help them find and get into their right fit college.
Mentoring Program
Every student is assigned a mentor, who is a faculty member at the school that is their coach, confidante, and advocate. Mentors check in individually with their mentees every week, and coach them to achieve their academic, personal, and college goals. At the start of every year, the student and parents will meet with their mentor to discuss college goals, and create a plan to help achieve those goals. Mentors also write college recommendations, and help guide their mentees through both the difficult decisions and celebrations on the pathway to college.
Study Trips to Colleges
Every year, Summit high school students visit colleges where they tour campuses, ask questions to current students, and get an overall taste of the college experience. Study trips at Summit middle schools vary from local colleges to community service excursions to other educational activities.
Summit Tahoma (San Jose) 11th grade students visiting UCLA
College Readiness Course

In 11th grade, all students take a College Readiness course during Expeditions. Expeditions are our elective courses, and are immersive experiences where students take a break from their core classes and focus on their electives for 2-week segments four times a year. In the College Readiness course, students build the foundation for strong college applications. Among many other activities, students will develop their list of best fit universities, learn about financial aid options, prepare for the SAT / ACT, and begin writing their personal essays. 
Additional Parent & Student Supports
In addition to the above supports, our schools host Parent Education Nights to help families understand college testing, applications, financial aid, and finding the best fit college. Colleges also come to our campuses, so that students can talk directly with them. All of our students also take at least 6 Advanced Placement (AP) courses, which are college-level courses that may provide them college credits if they pass the year-end AP exam. Finally, faculty and students work together to develop a school culture that supports every student being college-bound and ready.  Read our Top 10 Tips for Applying to College to learn more about preparing for college.

Summit Alumnus Spotlight: William Teav, Class of 2015

William Teav, a rising sophomore majoring in engineering at Harvey Mudd College, one of the top-performing engineering schools in the country, said he successfully acclimated to college in his freshman year through a common rite of passage: overloading his schedule and losing a lot of sleep. Nevertheless, William said he was still able to join multiple clubs and sports, including stargazing, roller hockey, combat robotics, and an Asian Pacific Islander mentorship program.
He said one of the most important steps Summit took to help him prepare for his packed college life was teaching him time management. “We have so many classes in Summit, with so many projects,” William said. “It’s on us to manage our time, and this has helped me in college. I gained a habit of looking at these deadlines, and doing each part of these projects on time.”
William, who was awarded Summit Rainier’s Bulldog (the school’s mascot) of the Year award for his leadership, friendliness and hard work ethic, advises Summit students to join clubs. This is where you can meet friends and learn more about yourself, he said. Additionally, he encourages students to form a strong relationship with their mentor, because they may end up knowing you better than you know yourself. William, a first generation college student, said he probably would not have applied to Harvey Mudd had his mentor not told him about it.
Learn more about how William chose his college and major at an interview we did with him last spring.

Summit Public Schools Wins XQ Super School Project

Summit Public Schools is one of only 10 schools in America to be awarded $10 million from the XQ Super School Project for our proposed redesign of the American high school! Over the last year, Summit faculty and community partners put together a proposal for a new high school, largely based on the work that we do everyday with our students.
Winning the XQ project means that we’ll receive funding to help us launch a new high school, Summit Elevate, in Oakland, CA in the fall of 2018. The school will be a natural evolution of our personalized learning model, which empowers students to set individual goals, develop critical thinking skills and practice habits of success. We’ve grown a lot since we opened our first school 13 years ago and, in that time, we’ve learned so much about what enables our students to reach their full potential. We’re proud that we continue to be on the leading edge of this movement, and to continue this journey with our families as we help shape the future of American education.
A little about XQ
The XQ Super School project launched over a year ago with the aim of encouraging educators across the country to submit proposals for what they think high school should look like. The brainchild of Laurene Powell-Jobs—wife of the late Steve Jobs—the goal was to open up a dialogue that would push schools to think about what was possible and then offer the resources to turn that vision into a reality.
Over the past year, XQ received more than 1,000 concepts from applicants across the country, and a winner, we can now turn our idea into a new, academically challenging public high school. Meet the 10 XQ Super Schools