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School Visit Study Tours Maui Preparatory Academy. Branden Hazlet Heather Goss Andrew O’Riordan Ryan Kirkham. Pre-Chat. Interrupt at will! Conversational. Content, Strategy and TEXT heavy… Thank you to all HOST Schools, we are in awe of, and hoping to reflect some of, Your Brilliance!!!.

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school visit study tours maui preparatory academy

School Visit Study ToursMaui Preparatory Academy

Branden Hazlet

Heather Goss

Andrew O’Riordan

Ryan Kirkham

pre chat
  • Interrupt at will! Conversational.
  • Content, Strategy and TEXT heavy…
  • Thank you to all HOST Schools, we are in awe of, and hoping to reflect some of,

Your Brilliance!!!

  • This presentation and the format we used for teachers to propose their Study Tours are available on the SOTF Wiki.
  • Every teacher in our school visited multiple independent, charter and public schools.
  • Each visit was a mix of classroom observations, faculty discussion and administrative consultations.
  • Our model was part COL sharing, part HTH residency, part Wagner Learning Walk.
  • Highly efficient method of gathering ideas, involving everyone, leveraging other schools efforts to change our cultural tone.
  • This presentation and the format we used for teachers to propose their Study Tours are available on the SOTF Wiki.
where we visited
Where We Visited
  • 8 visited Le Jardin
  • 8 visited Hawaii Preparatory Academy
  • 7 visited Island Pacific Academy
  • 5 visited Mid-Pacific Institute
  • 5 visited West Hawaii Explorations Academy Charter
  • 5 visited Kanu O Ka Aina KALO Charter
  • 4 (tried to) visit Hualalai (2 made it!)
  • 2 visited Hanalani
  • 2 visited St. Joseph’s Hilo
  • 2 visited Assets Academy
  • 2 visited Punahou
  • 2 visited Campbell High School
  • 1 visited McKinley High School
  • 1 visited Lahaina Intermediate
  • 52 visits for a faculty of 18 teachers and 5 admin
  • Wanted to expand our range of possibilities; build a sense of perspective for our faculty to expand a vision of what goals we could be setting for ourselves.
  • An exercise to build a more flexible and open minded school culture.
  • We are a small, geographically isolated, school – 18 faculty teaching PK-12. Few opportunities to see others teaching in our ‘specialty areas.’
where we were coming from
Where we were coming from...
  • From SOTF Year 2 we had strong momentum going with 50-60% of our teachers based on an organic, teacher-initiated model for various pilot projects.
  • That solid core who did “opt-in” left us with some folks dancing around the outskirts and waiting for more clarification: “Tell me again, how am I supposed to ‘do’ SOTF?”
  • We wanted to end that idea of a one size fits all cookie cutter solution, and at the same time provide a little more structure…
explode the cookie cutter
Explode the Cookie Cutter
  • Build momentum with slower adopters who were unsure of where they fit into the process and needed more real world examples to let go of the idea that there was only one model of how to “do SOTF.”
  • A way for everyone to “own” their observations of what they liked and cared to draw inspiration from…then define their own growth goals for teaching.
  • Authentic and lasting school change comes from teachers owning their process, so we leveraged the exciting action at other schools to set our teachers in creative motion.
how did we structure visits
How did we structure visits?
  • Put together an index of what was happening at SOTF schools based on reporting from the last COL of 2011 and project descriptions from documents.
  • We developed a proposal form for teachers to fill out that correlated their observational interests and pedagogical goal setting.
  • We asked teachers to travel in a minimum team of two, for car sharing and for observation sharing.
  • We encouraged teachers to be bold and creative in their school preferences and interests, looking beyond Maui for inspiration.
structure part 2
Structure Part 2
  • Teachers identified dates they were available to travel and we reached out to possible schools to work out visit details.
  • We asked teachers to take notes, submit their notes to our faculty Moodle for discussion, as well as presenting their observations at faculty, divisional and academic council meetings.
  • We did some major travel planning and substitute arrangements.
  • For the most part coordinating with other schools went VERY well, but it took a measure of persistence to get arrangements made for visits with busy personnel at host schools.
  • Sensitivity to host school dynamics did come up.
  • Our teachers were prepared to be flexible and resourceful visitors. Some schools were very structured in receiving our visitors; others just handed off a map of the school and let our visitors go.
  • We managed to get 51 visits off island, many with overnight stays, from our $7,500 Study Tour Travel budget (East-West Center baby) from HCF and SOTF.
  • This year, in the spirit of including as many faculty as possible, we focused on local, affordable opportunities.
  • We also spent a bit over $6,000 on subs to support this program.
what did we look at on visits
What did we look at on visits?
  • Everything.
  • Instructional strategies to project ideas;
  • Behavioral strategies to leadership models;
  • Block scheduling models to methods of displaying student work;
  • Special events to staffing allocations;
  • Specific technology initiatives to curriculum design principles;
  • Classroom and facility designs to digital portfolio procedures.
did we meet our goals
Did we meet our goals?
  • Generally: More engagement, more enthusiasm, a wider sense of momentum, a broader vision of possibilities in setting goals for the school, more creativity and risk taking / trying new things, a more open culture.
  • Specifically: New strategies, new devices, new projects, new events, new initiatives… and information to rule out some initiatives as well.
pros and cons
Pros and Cons
  • Pros:
    • Faculty Engagement / Catalyze Change.
    • Range of Ideas / Real World Examples.
    • Cross Campus Connections.
    • Open Minded Culture for Long Term?
  • Cons:
    • Distracting to host School?
    • Coordinating Time / Travel Agenting.
    • Substitute Arrangements / Instructional Loss.
    • Teacher Wear and Tear / Travel / Sub Prep.
examples of what we learned
Examples of what we learned:
  • Heather Goss – Lower School
  • Andrew O’Riordan – Middle School
  • Ryan Kirkham – Upper School
the study tours provided inspiration
The study tours provided inspiration!
  • The teachers came back inspired to practice what they saw in action.
    • Collaboration with colleagues across various grade levels.
    • Provide a student driven learning environment.
    • Engage students in higher level thinking through the inquiry process.
    • Document learning through pictures and narratives, which supported useful reflection after the unit’s completion.

** We are thinking of moving towards digital portfolios in the future as a result of the documentation methods that we observed.

common language practices were developed
Common language/ practices were developed
  • See, Think, Wonder
  • Individual morning meetings
  • Literacy Café
  • Project Based Learning
  • Built in more time for teacher collaboration
  • Thinking made visible – student thinking & learning processes are on display in the classroom
the study tours brought about change more effective and lasting learning
The study tours brought about change = more effective and lasting learning
  • Students are enthusiastic about what they are learning.
  • Students are hungry to read non-fiction texts.
  • Students are proud to share what they learn, and are improving their communication skills when sharing.
  • Students are reading, writing, problem solving and presenting their learning constantly!
the ripple effect
The ripple effect

The study tours resulted in a positive transformation in the lower school:

* Collaboration happened between grade levels, which was powerful for the teachers and students.

* A high level of accomplishment is felt by all when the whole student is developed.

* Creating a healthy support system between home and school allowed for learning to take place at all times, and provided support for the teacher.

* Teachers felt challenged and excited to explore new subject matter with the students. We believe this will allow us to continue to grow as teachers and not face burnout.

mr o s take away
Mr. O’s Take away
  • After a year of complete faculty participation in this program, absorbing innovative practice from schools on Oahu, Maui, and the Big Island, we are brimming over with new ideas for our school. We are now ready to look inward. We have enough inspiration and ideas for 3 to 5 years of critical growth.
matching new ideas to our school culture
Matching New Ideas to Our School Culture
  • After visiting Island Pacific Academy, I was hugely impressed by the ubiquity of student work. Newspapers, poetry magazines, projects, maps, art: student work was everywhere. We struggle with this because we don’t have covered walkways and we only have limited student social space.
maui prep versions of published student work
Maui Prep Versions of Published Student Work. ..
  • We incorporated an IPA strength by posting poetry all over our lockers, walls, and secret spaces, and by releasing an e-book of poetry. In this way, we matched a strength of another school with the physical realities of our school.
  • E-Book:
  • Twitter:
study tour summary
Study Tour Summary
  • A survey of current instructional designs in real world examples, some of which we are immediately implementing.
  • An exercise to expand our breadth of vision and build a more progressive and informed school culture.
  • Now move forward with more deliberate steps, toward depth of application, and revised implementations.