Renaissance Academy in the media

July 31st, 2014

The last couple weeks have been very busy preparing for the new school year. Last week the student’s participated in Culture Camp to begin establishing the culture of trust, respect and responsibility that will be the cornerstone to their school.

We’ve also had visits from many members of the media. You can check out recent coverage below:

Renaissance Academy ceremony begins new era of school in Clarksville

Renaissance Academy Brings “New Technology” Learning To Clarksville

Clarksville school aims to upend old model

Clarksville’s Renaissance Academy

Students, parents get a taste of Clarksville’s Renaissance Academy

WDRB 41 Louisville News

WDRB 41 Louisville News

I Used to Think…

July 14th, 2014

Day 5 at the New Tech National Conference

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The New Tech National Conference has come to a close. The culminating activity challenged us to become “critical friends.” This is accomplished by following a set of protocols as we share content projects that will become student projects. The process allows a facilitator to present the project and for each team member to respond to the project using, “I like, I wonder and next steps,” in the process to refining the project. Hence the name, “critical friends.” Again, Renaissance Academy students will use this process throughout the school year.

At the end of our day’s work, we were asked to respond to the following….

I used to think…

But now I think…

One facilitator said, “I used to think I was in the wrong profession, but now I think I was in the wrong place!” Our New Tech coach said that as she reflected on our team’s work from Day 1 “she used to think that the Renaissance Academy team was going to need to differentiate our activities this week, but now she knows the team was empowered to do this task on their own.”

The Renaissance team has experienced tremendous personal and professional growth this week. It is this foundation on which Renaissance Academy will be built. It is this foundation that will be used to truly reshape, reimagine and rethink teaching and learning for all who choose to be a part of the Renaissance journey!

We are ready and exited for this to begin and we hope you consider joining us!

Our school, it’s cool. Come check it out!

July 12th, 2014

Take a tour, ask some questions, enjoy some froyo.

On Thursday, July 17, 2014 from 6:30 -7:30 p.m. we’re hosting an open house event at Renaissance Academy. This is a great opportunity for currently enrolled and prospective students and their families to see our new building as the construction progresses.  Come by and take a look.  It’s definitely not your typical high school.

There will be tours, refreshments provided by Orange Leaf Clarksville and the opportunity to ask questions from our director and facilitators.

We hope you can join us! Register for the event in advance and we’ll have a free Renaissance Academy t-shirt waiting for you!

Email RSVP@ccsc.k12.in.us to register

Preparing for Culture Camp

July 11th, 2014

 

training

Day 4 at the New Tech National Conference

In day 4, the Renaissance staff has been hard at work on their Culture Camp project.  Culture Camp will bring together Renaissance students just before school starts to begin the working of developing our culture of trust, respect or responsibility.

The group did not see one another until the days end, but they were challenged to work on this project through Google Docs.  Google Docs allows teams to create and share projects regardless of location.

What you see on their screens in the photo is a team letter that was created and will be given to Renaissance Academy students.  All could write, edit, make remarks or suggestions and share ideas without being located in the same space or location in the city. This technology is commonly used in many modern workplaces. This is a small example of how technology will allow us to reimagine teaching and learning.

Meeting Challenges as a Team

Day 3 at the New Tech National Conference

This training has been some of the most intense professional development in our collective careers.  This topic surfaced over and again during our team debriefing at the end of day three.

Facilitators noted that the intensity was not because of the long days and new professional content; the intensity is due to the fact that we are all (yes, all means all, including the superintendent) engaged in producing work that challenges our thinking, causes a variety of emotions to surface throughout the day, and allows us to turn to our team for support when we fail and succeed.  These intellectual and emotional challenges have allowed us to grow as a team and individually. These are the same experiences we will create for our students.

To that end, Dr. Allred and I have spent great time thinking about how we ensure this process continues throughout 2014-2015, as he works with his staff and I with building and department leaders.

Reflecting upon the successes of our district, Clarksville Community School Corporation has come so far in understanding and undertaking professional collaboration.  It is this foundation for which we can grow in 2014-2015.  The driving question we must now undertake is how will we ensure that every CCSC K-12 student will be college and career ready?

Preparing for the Future

July 9th, 2014

future prep

“How do we best prepare our students with the knowledge, skills and attributes needed for college, careers and civic life in a world of rapidly advancing technology, structural shift in our economy and a shrinking globe?”

That was the driving question for day two of the New Tech National Conference.  We were very interested in how others might respond to this question, and how success will be measured.

The Renaissance team finished our day around 5:30 p.m. This educational model truly turns the traditional model upside down. As a staff, we knew this but yesterday, we lived this concept!  It was a very challenging experience.  There were moments of frustration, exhilaration when we made progress, and many “ah-ha ” moments.  In our debriefing session, staff shared many personal experiences that were funny and moving.  These experiences embodied what it means to build a culture grounded in trust, respect and responsibility. One facilitator shared that at one point she felt overwhelmed, but her ah-ha moment was “…wait, I have a teammate, I don’t have to solve this problem alone. That felt good!”

What a day! Can’t wait to see what day 3 has in store!


Agents for Impact

July 7th, 2014
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The Renaissance Academy team is hard at work at the New Tech National Conference in NOLA! #NATC14

 

New Tech National Conference Day 1

The Renaissance Academy team arrived in the Big Easy for a week at the New Tech National Conference. The agenda for the conference is “Agents for Impact,” which is fitting for individuals working in New Tech schools. The Renaissance Academy website has received a shout out from the New Tech network staff! Our IT Director, Bobby Crane, posted the link for all conference attendees. The site received lots of praise and was called the best seen!

The driving question for Monday’s workshops is, “What does it mean to be college and career ready? Is this a decision that students should be left to make?”

What do you think? We’ll let you know what we think after today!

Announcing our first two business partners

Two community businesses have signed on to provide support for Renaissance Academy, a New Technology High School that will open this fall in Clarksville.  Your Community Bank and its Charitable Foundation and the Rivera Group are the school’s first business partners.

Your Community Bank and its Charitable Foundation and the Rivera Group have committed $5,000 each to the new school, which is under construction at the site of the former Value City Department Store on Eastern Boulevard. The donations will be used to fund student technology and items such as Huddle Boards, which allow students to brainstorm in groups on a board that can then be hung together at the front of the class for presentations.

Rivera Group, headquartered in Clarksville, will also provide support for computer programming instruction. The consulting firm, which specializes in information technology software and system engineering, will also work with Renaissance Academy facilitators to develop a student project and provide mentors.

We currently have a wish list of items and partnership opportunities available and are actively recruiting additional business partners. For information on how to get involved, call us at 812.282.7753.

 

How You Can Help: Be a Project Partner

July 1st, 2014

At Renaissance Academy, all learning takes place within the context of a larger problem or project. In this way, learning serves a purpose that is very real and tangible to our learners.

Learners at Renaissance Academy are not just learning for the sake of learning; they are learning as a way to reach several well-articulated, real-world goals.

We need business and community partners who are willing to work with our facilitators to brainstorm projects that meet both the state education standards and also are actually used in the work place.

Ideally, project partners will also help us evaluate projects by drafting rubrics or coming to school for student presentations. You can help make our projects more relevant and applicable to the real world. It is very motivating for students to have the opportunity to present their work to a group of experts.

Project partners can help facilitators brainstorm project ideas, develop entry document to introduce new projects, participate in events at the school, host a field trip and serve as an expert during student presentations.

If you are interested in partnering with us for a project, contact swestfall@ccsc.k12.in.us or 812.258.9040.