Focus Group Meeting #6 – 4/26/17

Focus Group Meeting #6 – 4/26/17

Our final community focus group meeting focused on Global Citizenship. This is an emerging concept at VHS, something being used in pockets around campus rather than something we’ve focused on collectively. The idea, of course, is that this begins to change starting next year.

We followed the typical focus group format, starting with a recap of what we’ve been up to since the last meeting, and then did our typical deep dive into the topic. This time around, that deep dive was lead by Colonel Lostetter and two of his cadets. They ran the group through a simulation that required them to formulate ideas and make decision recommendations through the lens of a truly global actor. It was an informative and engaging activity and helps us get a sense for the importance of developing global literacies in our students.

In addition to the above activity, we had a brief discussion about a tool we’ll be using with 9th graders next year that helps them get a clearer picture of their interests, and how these interests might help them identify work styles and career interests that align with their preferences.

If you’d like, you can take the “Strong Interest Inventory” as well. If interested, please click HERE to take the assessment (it’s very quick, just 5-8 minutes). Click the Sign Up button, use Promo Code VUSDVH-SP17, and then just follow the steps.

Naturally, along the way we got feedback from the group and will continue to use this feedback to refine and improve the work we’re doing as we build for next year and beyond.

Focus Group Presentation

The slide presentation for this meeting has loads of useful information, including links to the teacher presentations. Please take a moment to scroll through it and, if you have any questions or need clarification about anything, please reach out, we’re happy to help.

Community Feedback

Throughout the meeting, we requested feedback from the group using an anonymous polling tool. If you’re interested to read through it, the results of that feedback are below.

If you’d like to see this feedback in a larger window, please click here

Video from the Meeting

And, if you were unable to attend the meeting, we do live stream them on Youtube, and of course, we record those live streams as well. The video from that meeting is embedded here, and you can also find it on Youtube directly.

Focus Group Meeting #5 – 2/8/17

Focus Group Meeting #5 – 2/8/17

Our 5th community focus group meeting focused on Student Agency again – student presenters went into more depth around this important issue and how they experience it in the classroom.

We followed the typical focus group format, starting with a recap of what we’ve been up to since the last meeting, as well as a quick glimpse of what we’re currently working on. We were also introduced to our new External Director for the XQ Award, Kim Richards. She’ll be working closely with the team in a number of key areas.

Recap:

A quick review of past meetings reminded us the topics we’ve explored to this point…

  • Creative learning spaces
  • VHS’s definition of Personal Learning
  • Personal Learning in action at VHS
  • Student Agency, as experienced by students

Using PL as our learning engine, we’ve also had our audience at a number of focus groups engage in activities to help us work through some of the challenges we currently face, including…

  • Designing creative learning spaces for our classrooms
  • New logo design

Student Agency, Take 2:

In the final segment of the meeting, students once again took control of this meeting and led the audience through an activity to familiarize them with how students are empowered to co-create and share their learning experiences in a personal learning classroom. Specifically, they taught attendees about using a blog as a tool to both demonstrate their learning as well as communicate and connect with others.

And, as is typical in these meetings, they then asked the audience to engage in an activity to apply what they were learning. We all created our own blogs and wrote a quick post about something we’re passionate about. Then we shared out the links to these blogs and began to connect in those spaces. It was a quick lesson, given our time constraints, but the goal is always to show the student experience, and then allow everyone there the chance to feel that experience, at least briefly.

Naturally, along the way we got feedback from the group and will continue to use this feedback to refine and improve the work we’re doing as we build for next year and beyond.

Focus Group Presentation

The slide presentation for this meeting has loads of useful information, including links to the teacher presentations. Please take a moment to scroll through it and, if you have any questions or need clarification about anything, please reach out, we’re happy to help.

Community Feedback

Throughout the meeting, we requested feedback from the group using an anonymous polling tool. If you’re interested to read through it, the results of that feedback are here.

If you’d like to see this feedback in a larger window, please click here

Video from the Meeting

And, if you were unable to attend the meeting, we do live stream them on Youtube, and of course, we record those live streams as well. The video from that meeting is embedded here, and you can also find it on Youtube directly.

Focus Group Meeting #4 – 1/11/2017

Focus Group Meeting #4 – 1/11/2017

Our 4th community focus group meeting focused on Student Agency – what it is, how we, at VHS develop it in the classroom.

We followed the typical focus group format, starting with a recap of what we’ve been up to since the last meeting, as well as a quick glimpse of what we’re currently working on. The bulk of our progress since the last meeting revolved around professional development for our staff as we continue to build a common understanding and shared framework around this transformation of Vista High School toward Personalized Learning.

We also revisited last month’s topic of transformational change by looking at some graphic design work that was done to help us visualize this transformation, to help us see what it will mean to be a VHS student/graduate in the years to come. The group voted on their favorite and we’ll have that image up/available soon.

This was followed by a presentation by a group of extraordinary VHS students who walked us through an activity to demonstrate how personalized learning has helped them develop and utilize student agency as they pursue their learning. The meeting culminated with an activity that helped the audience members experience what student agency is and how it feels in a learning environment. To do this, they had to develop, and present, their own board game.

Naturally, along the way we got feedback from the group and will continue to use this feedback to refine and improve the work we’re doing as we build for next year and beyond.

Focus Group Presentation

The slide presentation for this meeting has loads of useful information, including links to the teacher presentations. Please take a moment to scroll through it and, if you have any questions or need clarification about anything, please reach out, we’re happy to help.

Community Feedback

Throughout the meeting, we requested feedback from the group using an anonymous polling tool. If you’re interested to read through it, the results of that feedback are below.

If you’d like to see this feedback in a larger window, please click here

Video from the Meeting

And, if you were unable to attend the meeting, we do live stream them on Youtube, and of course, we record those live streams as well. The video from that meeting is embedded here, and you can also find it on Youtube directly.

*NOTE: Sadly, the audio on this month’s video did not come through. My apologies.

Focus Group Meeting #3 – 11/30/16

Focus Group Meeting #3 – 11/30/16

Our 3rd community focus group meeting focused on Transformational Change. This was a bit of a departure from previous meetings that addressed specific aspects of that change – change to our learning spaces, change to the way we go about teaching and learning. Meeting number three was about change itself. Because the truth is, even small changes to the way we behave can be difficult, and this is no small change. So it was important, we thought, to acknowledge that difficulty.

As always, we started with a recap of our XQ-related activities over the last month or so. They include…

  • We’ve held 2 (now 3) successful community focus group meetings, each producing truly valuable feedback.
  • We’ve completed the requisite paperwork and submitted it to the XQ folks – boring, but necessary parts of the process.
  • Loads of action research (experimentation) in classrooms all over VHS as we try to move from theory to practice as it concerns personalized learning.
  • We had the XQ Bus Tour event on campus – a day of celebration for our students, our staff and our community.
  • We sent 2 students and 1 teacher to Washington, DC to meet with the US Secretary of Education to talk about revolutionizing public education.

A busy month.

Change

After this recap, Matt Stuckey walked us through the different components of transformational change.

  • Mindset Change
  • Conditions for Change
  • Stages of Change

We watched a great video that clearly spells out the need for change, and a vision for what that change can look like.

Principal Barela discussed the importance of focusing on transformational change over operational change in order to ensure that the change we create is sustainable. He reviewed Vista High School’s definition of personalized learning, and unveiled our Wildly Important Goal – a way to set the bar high and help us focus on the real goal of this transformation – helping to ensure the success of every VHS student, regardless of where their path takes them after graduation…

Vista High, a global learning environment, will achieve 100% graduation and 100% placement in career and/or institution of higher education by 2021.

Activity

We finished the night with a collaborative activity in which audience members engaged in an effort to design an infographic to depict what VHS will look like after we’ve achieved this transformation. A way to embody the spirit of what we’re trying to create here at VHS, and communicate the key components of our truly Super School. Pictures of their efforts can be seen here, and we’ll take these ideas to develop the visual that will, ultimately, represent all that we’re trying to accomplish through this transformation.

As always, along the way we got feedback from the group and will continue to use this feedback to refine and improve the work we’re doing as we build for next year and beyond.

Focus Group Presentation

The slide presentation for this meeting has loads of useful information, including links to key information, pictures, etc. Please take a moment to scroll through it and, if you have any questions or need clarification about anything, please reach out, we’re happy to help.

Community Feedback

Throughout the meeting, we requested feedback from the group using an anonymous polling tool. If you’re interested to read through it, the results of that feedback are below.

If you’d like to see this feedback in a larger window, please click here

Video from the Meeting

And, if you were unable to attend the meeting, we do live stream them on Youtube, and of course, we record those live streams as well. The video from that meeting is embedded here, and you can also find it on Youtube directly.

Focus Group Meeting #2 – 11/9/16

Focus Group Meeting #2 – 11/9/16

Our 2nd community focus group meeting focused on Personalized Learning – what it is, how we, at VHS define it, and what we’re doing to implement it in the classroom.

We followed the typical focus group format, starting with a recap of what we’ve been up to since the last meeting, as well as a quick glimpse of what we’re currently working on. Then we did what we’re calling a ‘deep dive’ into a topic – Personalized Learning, in this case – by watching 3 VHS teachers present how they’re personalizing their classrooms for students. Finally, we engaged in a hands-on activity where audience members had the opportunity to experience what personalized learning feels like by working collaboratively to design their ideal innovative/flexible learning spaces.

Naturally, along the way we got feedback from the group and will continue to use this feedback to refine and improve the work we’re doing as we build for next year and beyond.

Focus Group Presentation

The slide presentation for this meeting has loads of useful information, including links to the teacher presentations. Please take a moment to scroll through it and, if you have any questions or need clarification about anything, please reach out, we’re happy to help.

Community Feedback

Throughout the meeting, we requested feedback from the group using an anonymous polling tool. If you’re interested to read through it, the results of that feedback are below.

If you’d like to see this feedback in a larger window, please click here

Video from the Meeting

And, if you were unable to attend the meeting, we do live stream them on Youtube, and of course, we record those live streams as well. The video from that meeting is embedded here, and you can also find it on Youtube directly.