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ConnectEd Blog

Federal Site Visit to Los Angeles Unified School DistrictPosted on October 31, 2016 at 9:44pm by Gary Hoachlander

Gary Hoachlander, President of ConnectEdLast week, together with federal and state policymakers, I had a chance to meet young people at two Linked Learning pathways — Los Angeles High School of the Arts (LAHSA) and STEM Academy. How inspiring to hear them describe both the challenges and accomplishments of their educational journeys.

We heard from Geovanny Aguilar, a LAHSA graduate who is now working construction on a 2 million dollar home in Malibu. He said that when he came to LAHSA, he was a special ed kid reading at a first-grade level. Now, in just four years, he’s reading at an eighth-grade level, and has gained skills in teamwork and communication that he uses daily on the job.

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A Grand JourneyPosted on September 26, 2016 at 5:52pm by Gary Hoachlander

Year after year, I join family and friends on the Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim hike—I’ve just returned from this year’s trek. The path is the same, but the journey is always different. The canyon is alive and growing, the weather is unpredictable, and the members of our group change. It’s a challenging hike—22 miles from rim to rim; 5,000 feet down to the Colorado River; 6,000 feet up to the North Rim. We finish the day exhausted but proud. A journey well traveled!

Many of you have once again taken the first steps on a similarly challenging journey—the new school year.

It’s an honor to be on that journey with you. Together, we are helping to create access to high-quality college and career pathways that prepare students, regardless of background, for lasting success in college, career, community, and life.

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Win a Grant To Develop CurriculaPosted on September 26, 2016 at 5:27pm

If you’re a teacher, you have a unique opportunity to receive up to $5,000 to develop materials for UCCI (University of California Curriculum Integration) courses through UCCI’s first ever Course Resource Development Grant. These can be UCCI courses that you already teach or are planning to teach.

“Our UCCI course frameworks are just that—frameworks with unit descriptions and descriptions of every major assignment,“ says Sarah Fidelibus, Programs Director at UCCI. "We're excited because the grant gives teachers the resources to develop the day-to-day lesson plans and other instructional materials to bring frameworks to life, not for just themselves, but for others too."

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Student Behaviors to Identify, Nurture, and SupportPosted on September 26, 2016 at 5:10pm

Most educators know that the Common Core, Next Generation Science, and other new standards require them to teach more complex content while supporting students to gain deeper skills as they access content. But knowing is one thing; seeing is another.

Achieving these goals requires that teachers recognize the impact Linked Learning is making in their classrooms as they observe students engaged in learning. When teachers can identify nurture, and support their students to develop and sustain these deeper learning behaviors, they are more able to create learning environments that dramatically improve student motivation, empowerment, understanding, and achievement.

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Overcoming Obstacles to Work-Based Learning Posted on August 17, 2016 at 10:31pm

More school districts see the value of Work-Based Learning (WBL), but establishing a WBL system comes with unique challenges.

In response to a request from an educator, our colleague, Rob Atterbury, provided suggestions on how to overcome logistical, legal and coordinating challenges. He offered four steps: 1) get community buy-in, 2) forge alliances, 3) navigate your local laws, and start a business/community advisory board. ConnectEd has used these steps to help build work-based learning systems in multiple school districts.

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Preparing for Linked LearningPosted on June 24, 2016 at 5:10pm by Gary Hoachlander

Gary Hoachlander, President of ConnectEd

A few weeks ago, I visited Bing Wong Elementary School in San Bernardino City Unified School District. What an impressive school!

To prepare students to enter nearby Indian Springs High School, which has Linked Learning pathways in Advanced Manufacturing and Health, Bing Wong engages them in a growing array of challenging project-based learning experiences.

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A Game of ChancePosted on June 22, 2016 at 11:16pm

My family and I chose Game of Life for a board game night. Throughout the night I spun a wheel, chose to go to college or start a career, picked up a few cards, and lost – all by chance.

The randomness of the game was eerily similar to my high school experience.

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Wisdom and Advice for the Class of 2016Posted on June 22, 2016 at 8:14pm

There have been some spectacular commencement speeches over time. And fortunately, the recent ones have been recorded on YouTube or archived in places like NPR’s Commencement Speech database. Below a few of our ConnectEd team members share speeches they were inspired by and what they would say if they were speaking at a graduation.

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JPMorgan Chase announces $4M to help Detroit students gain economic successPosted on June 1, 2016 at 9:37pm

We are excited to see Linked Learning Detroit in the headlines. On June 1, 2016, the Detroit Free Press highlighted JPMorgan Chase’s $4 million grant to the United Way for Southeastern Michigan to expand Linked Learning Detroit. JP Morgan Chase joins the Skillman Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the Ford Motor Company Fund, whose grants total $7 million and will connect 10,000 Detroit high school students to career education and work experiences over the next three years.

To take a deeper look into Linked Learning Detroit, read our report, Game Changer: Linked Learning Detroit. You’ll learn about Linked Learning Detroit through interviews with students, teachers, and administrators from five of the Linked Learning high schools mentioned in the Detroit Free Press article. Download the report here.

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One Step Closer to Fulfilling Our PromisePosted on May 18, 2016 at 9:21pm by Gary Hoachlander

Equitable Access by Choice

All students ready for college and career! That's the promise of Linked Learning. But for us to deliver on that promise requires fidelity to the "four pillars" of high quality pathways—challenging academics, demanding career and technical education, work-based learning, and personalized student supports. Implementing any of the four with high quality is difficult, but in many pathways, personalized student supports is the component most often underdeveloped or absent.

So I welcome the new report, Equitable Access by Design. Published by Stanford’s John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities, the report was developed with the Center for Powerful Public Schools, the Annenberg Institute, ConnectEd, several Linked Learning districts, and community-based organizations.

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