One of our Near West Intergenerational School families and NWIS itself are featured in a recent Plain Dealer article. Check it out here:
The Intergenerational School’s Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) team recently traveled to Columbus, Ohio for the annual State Leadership Conference. Students from middle schools and high schools across the state attended this two day conference full of leadership workshops, service activities, networking and competitive events.
The FBLA middle-level students from TIS competed with peers in various individual, team and chapter events and earned top awards this year. Many of the participants below have earned an invitation to the National Leadership Conference to be held this summer in Anaheim, CA to join nearly 9,000+ students and advisers from across the country. Congratulations to our TIS FBLA state winners:
1st Place Awards—7
2nd Place Awards—5
4th Place Awards—1
2nd Place—Aaron Davidson-Bey
4th Place—Jake Streeter
Keyboarding Applications I
1st Place—Malcolm Pye
2nd Place—Briahnah Streeter
Keyboarding Applications II
1st Place—Devlin Chambers
1st Place—Gabrielle Raymont-Scott
Web Page Creation
1st Place—Khai White, Justus Harris, Imani Estrada
2nd Place—Gabrielle Raymont-Scott, Devlin Chambers, Nia Estrada
Desktop Publishing Applications
2nd Place—Cayla Caliman, Briahnah Streeter
Computer Slide Show Presentation
1st Place—Jayden Cunningham, Malcolm Pye, Devon Brown
2nd Place—Aaron Davidson-Bey, Jake Streeter
American Enterprise Project
1st Place—TIS lead by Aaron Davidson-Bey, Devon Brown, Jayden Cunningham
Community Service Project
1st Place—TIS lead by Cayla Caliman, Briahnah Streeter
Advisers: Shawn Hallowell, Telissa Teets, Eric McGarvey
More information on FBLA-PBL can be found here: http://www.fbla-pbl.org/web/page/614/sectionid/614/pagelevel/1/main_interior.asp
This issue of Innovations in Neurosciences features The Intergenerational School, co-founder, Dr. Peter Whitehouse and the benefits and success of our intergenerational programming. Check it out by clicking the link below!
Check out a recent article regarding charter schools adapting to Common Core State Standards that features comments from Dr. Cathy Whitehouse and photos of TIS lifelong learners! Link: Education Week Article
In many countries the curriculum children learn is established by the national government. But in the United States, education is a state’s responsibility. As a result, what children learn, how they are assessed on that learning, and what standards are established varies from state to state.
States that adopt the common core standards are bringing greater consistency in curriculum. Ohio has adopted the common core standards for English Language Arts (ELA) and for Mathematics. There currently are no finalized common core standards for Social Studies or Science, although that would be a welcomed reform.
But common core does even more; it brings educational expectations into the 21st century. Children are expected to memorize less, but be able to think, evaluate, problem solve, analyze, and apply skills. The way we can get to that higher level of understanding and application is to reduce the number of concepts taught and to teach them in great depth. This is especially true in math where the US curriculum has traditionally been described as a mile wide, and an inch deep. Now children and teachers will have the opportunity to explore topics in depth so that they really understand them.
TIS started last year to transition to the common core in ELA. We are now using much more non-fiction text, writing more across all content classes, and expanding the ways students demonstrate their gained knowledge (an example is a Prezi presentation on the Plains Native Americans created by a senior cluster student). There is an increased use of technology of all types. This year, we have focused on starting the transition to common core for math in the primary cluster. As of next year, all math will be aligned with these new standards.
In 2013-14, the Ohio Achievement Assessments will be based on common core. They will be completely computer administered and will require students to show much higher levels of critical thinking than before. What used to be considered Proficient performance won’t be any longer. At TIS we are trying to learn all we can about these new assessments so that we can adequately familiarize our students with the new format and expectations.
Teachers appreciate the opportunity to explore topics in depth with their students, rather than feeling always rushed to “cover the curriculum.” This allows for truly lasting learning.
For more information about Ohio and the common core, please take a look at the linked document or visit the Ohio Department of Education website at http://www.ode.state.oh.us.
Here is the story posted on the NAPCS website:
The Intergenerational School: Connecting Generations, Building Relationships
The mission of The Intergenerational School (TIS) is to connect, create and guide a multi-generational community of lifelong learners and spirited citizens. To teach and live out the concepts of lifelong learning and spirited citizenship, we surround our young students with opportunities to engage with the broader community and to learn with and from individuals of all ages who exemplify this ideal. TIS is located in Cleveland, Ohio, one of the poorest cities in the nation. Over the 12 years that TIS has been operating, we have developed the intergenerational learning model from a seed of an idea into a vibrant and successful school with not only 224 “young” learners (grades K-8) but approximately 300 adults and older adults who participate in a wide range of intergenerational programs each year.
A “walk through” at TIS demonstrates the ways in which we operationalize this mission. Walking into one primary classroom, it is reading workshop. Students are scattered throughout the room; some are engrossed in reading his or her own self-selected book, others are reading with a partner, a few are working with the teacher. Looking more closely, you will see that the class includes students of a variety of ages and some of the older students are reading with and helping some of the younger students. This is the first step toward instilling an inclination of “community service” in the children: if you know how to do something and someone younger does not, you have the opportunity to teach what you know. Hence at TIS a fundamental belief is that everyone is at once a teacher and a learner at all times.
Meanwhile in the hallway, ensconced in comfortable sofas and chairs are some of our oldest participants, senior citizens who have been trained to mentor our young readers. Together one elder and one child explore the wonderful world of books, which prompts discussion and the sharing of life stories between the two. Over the course of weeks, months, and even years, the elders notice the growth of their mentees as readers, and as poised and thoughtful partners in increasingly rich conversations. Further on, area college students are tutoring math students and developing relationships that will inspire TIS students to see college as a part of their own future.
Yet another class is preparing to leave to visit their nursing home partners. That day they will be deepening their own understanding of the civil rights movement by collecting the stories of those residents who were a part of it. These stories will be rewritten into picture book format to be shared with their primary cluster reading partners later on.
These are just a few examples of intergenerational learning activities that take place on a daily basis. Intergenerational experiences not only deepen and personalize learning, but have spillover effects on overall school culture and outcomes. From the academic perspective, TIS students consistent post some of the highest test scores in the state of Ohio. The school has had 6 years of Excellent ratings, and 2 years of achieving Excellent with Distinction status out of 9 years of being rated. But test scores do not tell the full story. TIS students develop a profound respect for their elders and benefit from the patience, caring, and consistency that characterize these relationships. The come to value people of all ages and from all walks of life. The presence of older adults contributes to a calm and respectful school climate. Meanwhile the older adults, including some with memory loss, know that they are making a profound contribution to the next generation and leaving a true living legacy.
We have coined the term “intergenerativity” to denote the powerful synergy that emerges when the generations learn together. To us, this represents community service at its most profound and personal level.
Cathy Whitehouse, Founder, Principal and Chief-Educator, The Intergenerational School
We are very proud to report that The Intergenerational School received another Excellent with Distinction Rating from the State of Ohio this year. The Intergenerational School has the most Excellent+ ratings of ANY charter school in Ohio!
We are also very proud to report that Near West Intergenerational School achieved outstanding results on the Ohio Achievement Assessments. NWIS doesn’t yet qualify for a state rating; but, based on the student results, if it did receive a rating, it would have been Excellent! This is a remarkable achievement for our new second campus.
Congratulations to all our incredibly hard working students, supportive families, and outstanding teachers and staff.
The Intergenerational School has been working with Breakthrough Schools, Neighborhood Progress Incorporated and many other key organizations regarding the possibility of moving into St. Luke’s Hospital Building on Shaker Boulevard which has undergone a major renovation project still underway. Two wings will be reserved for senior housing (many units have already been occupied) and The Intergenerational School would be housed throughout 4 floors of the East Wing in space specifically designed for the school. The plan is for TIS to move into the new space at St. Luke’s this summer for the 2013-2014 school year. TIS looks forward to partnering with the resident seniors, community members and the Harvey Rice school next door through interngenerational programming. Read more here! TIS move/Freshwater
Questions about this story: Please contact Eric McGarvey or Brooke King at 216.721.0120.
Michael Fullan is a well know writer on educational reform. His most recent book is entitled Stratosphere. Here is what he had to say about TIS and our intergenerational learning model:
The second breakthrough as an example is a social innovation. It comes from Daniel George and Catherine and Peter Whitehouse and colleagues in their work on intergenerativity, how to bring older people and younger people together “to foster collective wisdom and community health.” [Intergenerational learning] is steeped in real-life problem solving, teaching young and old alike how to nurture social, civic, and environmental responsibility. It teaches empathy across ages. It is cheap, requiring few new resources. And technology is a natural social solidifier as the young teach the old, and everyone benefits.
We have all seen so many benefits of the intergenerational learning model to all of the members of the TIS community. It is nice to see this commendation from such a forward thinking educational reformer. Instituting an intergenerational learning program might be relatively “cheap,” but to us our many volunteers and partners are truly priceless.