Monday, June 29, 2015

BVP High School: Much More to Come

This entry by Jeremy Chiappetta, BVP Executive Director, is the first in a series of posts BVP will feature to reflect on our newest partnership. Stay tuned for additional perspectives from our staff and others throughout the week as the series continues.

When BVP opened in 2009, several visitors remarked on the apparent lack of technology in our classrooms.  At the root of the observation was “how will this school prepare ‘scholars’ for the 21st century if they are not being prepared with 21st century tools?”  I almost always responded with a quip along the lines of, “Look, I am not a luddite. My most recent private sector job was as a consultant at IBM. When the technology is ready, BVP will be ready.

In the spring before we opened, I recall visiting several high-performing schools and asking similar questions to teachers and leaders - how are you integrating technology into the classrooms?  The answer was usually “we aren’t.” Or worse: I would witness stacks broken headphones, keyboards with missing keys, and mice that didn’t work.  When probed, even the really expensive software did not appear to drive student achievement.

Thus, when we opened BVP we decided to wait on the technology.

Six years later the times have changed.  In today’s world of Twitter and Facebook and Instagram, in this world where some of the world’s finest colleges are publishing curriculum and lectures online for free, the technology is arriving.  Through the Next Generation Learning Challenges Breakthrough Schools program, we opened our high school with a vision to leverage digital tools smartly to drive personalize learning.  From flipping classrooms to a digital language lab, from collaborative writing to coding courses, we are making strides.

Like our first kindergarten classrooms, we are constantly looking to others to improve our work.  It is with all of this in mind that we are thrilled to be collaborating with Summit Public Schools. Over the next year, BVP will take personalized learning to a new level thanks to the opportunities this collaboration will offer. You can read a brief overview of the partnership here.

As always, there is more, much more to come.

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