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Rosemont’s Journey as a Practitioner School
by William Estrada, Rosemont Avenue Elementary School Principal
Rosemont Avenue Elementary School’s journey as a practitioner school of innovative practices actually began before the turn of the 21st Century. During that time, Rosemont Avenue students recorded a Math TV show in collaboration with KLCS. Unbeknownst to the participants they were being Global Collaborators by creating content and sharing it throughout L.A. Unified. More recently Rosemont Avenue became a one-to-one device school. This allowed us to incorporate technology in our instruction throughout the grade levels.
Two years ago, in 2017, we began reflecting on our usage of technology. We collectively decided to create a new shared vision that empowered all stakeholders and gave our students voice and choice in how they learned. Through this shared vision we have realized and committed to shifting the mindsets and practices of all our stakeholders, particularly our students, from consumers of technology to creators with technology as the tool.
Vision Statement: Empower the Rosemont community to unleash our full potential as successful contributors in a global society.
Becoming a Practitioner School 2.0 under the Instructional Technology Initiative during the School Year 2017-2018 allowed us to see technology beyond the hardware and software and begin seeing the thinking and mindsets needed to be Computational Thinkers. This meant being able to decompose and break down problems in math, being able to focus on the main idea through abstraction, and seeing and recognizing patterns in order to solve larger problems. Students began using Scratch, Code.org, Dash Wonder Robots, and green screens to apply this skill. Our students also were able to use voice and choice by using multiple platforms to explain how they decomposed a math problem in order to solve it. The incorporation of these tools and more importantly the instructional shifts that occurred during this first year as a Practitioner School began paving the pathway for our students to have voice and choice.
As we continued our Practitioner School journey on its third iteration focusing on the ISTE Student Standard Innovative Designer School, we honed in on our vision statement with the word “empowerment.” Using Innovative Design, our students began collaborating as grade level teams and used the Engineering Design Cycle to identify a community problem that they could find a solution for. Each grade level chose a local issue that was of concern and then used the Engineering Cycle to create solutions. Students then presented their solutions to their grade level peers, cross-grade level peers, staff, and parents. One of the problems that our 3rd graders took on was to redesign our Reading Garden that had become dilapidated and depleted. Our students brought up the concern of an uninviting place that needed to be fixed in order to make it useful. They researched prices for new seating as well as books and advocated for the improvement of the pavement. Thanks to their voice, our school has added new seating, replanted the flower beds, and has been able to get the surface leveled and repaved. Through the Innovative Design challenge, our students used their voice to advocate and solve an issue that they felt was important. Once again, the Practitioner School program allowed us to support student voice and choice.
As we look ahead to Rosemont’s future as a Practitioner School 4.0: Global Collaborator, we are excited and committed to continue the work around empowerment and student voice. We look forward to collaborating at a local, national, and global level to bring forth solutions to some of our current issues. Being a Practitioner School has allowed the Rosemont community to enhance not only the academic experience of our children but also empowered the community as a whole to close the social equity gap that currently exists in our communities.