Designing a school with only a blank page to start can be a daunting task. Where do you begin? Values? Themes? Needs of target population? Instructional approach?
I couldn’t stop thinking about design at the very, very new UA Maker (the twenty-fourth in the Urban Assembly network) because design itself is at the core of the school model. So are its values. A poster on the wall articulating the norms of UA Maker really brought this home:
We agree to center our work on the core values: curiosity, empathy, risk-taking, self-awareness and resilience.
We agree to:
- Engage in Design Thinking and understand this work as iterative
- Engage in growth mindset
- Document our process
- Respect each other’s time
The following highlights of their school design are based on conversations with Luke Bauer, Principal; Madelaine Hackett, Urban Assembly’s Carnegie Design Fellow embedded at the school site; Alexis Goldberg, Urban Assembly’s Achievement Coach; and members of the NYC Department of Education’s Digital Ready team Michael Preston, Jeremy Kraushar, and Joy Nolan. (more…)