Innovation Explosion at Underserved Ortiz Middle School; Yes We Can!

Innovation Explosion at Underserved Ortiz Middle School; Yes We Can!

This is HUGE for these kids. Ortiz Middle School (#ortizms) is a traditionally poorly performing school in Santa Fe, NM with almost 100% underserved students. Exactly one year ago, the overwhelmingly predominant learning style was “sit and get”; students lacked engagement and enthusiasm; they politely did their worksheets and listened to their teachers.

The teachers decided to take a completely new direction, to blow up their past assumptions about their role, and build a deeper learning system that would excite the students to take ownership in their learning…to engage.  Julie Wilson and I have the honor of facilitating the process. Test scores are way up in most classes as is parent participation in student-led assessment conferences. Check out this photo gallery of students working together, building things, developing their own learning pathways via debate, technology, and tape on the floor. They are teaching each other, replicating mitosis on the school track, and graphing equations on the walls.  This is a radical transformation in less than one year, all due to a group of teachers who co-created a North Star of great learning, and are beating a path to that star against long odds and a lot of inertia. I can’t wait to get back next week and visit!

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