Note from The Fund team: Happy Friday! Today, it is our immense pleasure to feature our first post written BY a Chicago Public Schools principal. We’re excited for you to get to know this amazing school leader and to hear about his experience with the Summer Design Program. Check it out!
Who am I? Dr. LeViis A. Haney, in my fifteenth year working with the Chicago Public Schools (CPS). I got into education because I wanted to help make school a place where students wanted to be. As a former CPS student myself, the traditional educational structures did not work well for me. I was not a motivated learner. But I grew to love learning because of many special teachers who shaped my learning experiences to help me become a part of the learning process!
I applied for the Summer Design Program (SDP) because I wanted to be in a roomful of people that were solutions orientated. People who truly believed that student learning could be transformed through innovation. Lovett Elementary used the 2015 SDP to develop a personalized professional development track for our middle school teachers. Through this process, our team created their own personalized learning opportunities for the school year, and created a collaborative lesson planning protocol, which created a context for cross-curricular planning, significantly reduced the amount of teacher paperwork, and increased rigor and targeted instruction in all middle school classrooms.
Through the SDP, we were also able to work with scheduling consultant Furman Brown through whole school redesign planning sessions. As a result of working with Furman, we were able to rethink our scheduling and provide a 1 hour and 45 minute daily planning block for our middle school team. As a result of this increase in planning time and intentional team building sessions, our middle school team has taken over leading their weekly meetings, their instructional program is more coherent, and student success is increasing!
My SDP experience was absolutely amazing mostly because I became a learner right along with my team. Instead of carrying all of the school’s problems on my back, our team truly worked together to share the problem solving load, and truly leverage our innovation to transform our school.
Thanks for your post, and for all you do for Chicago’s children, Dr. Haney!
Pssst: Like what you read? Apply for the 2016 SDP!