Developing inspiring, personalized learning for all
Since they were launched in July 2020, we have been striving to deliver on our 3 strategic priorities:
An important step in our LEARNING priority has been the development of the PAS Definition of High Quality Learning which informed a number of important enhancements in 2023:
- Student Learning: Through: deeper implementation of concept-based learning, and inquiry practices across the programmes; evolved assessment practices aligned with best practice across all our programmes; improved approaches to developing student literacy (2022-2023) and a review and focus on mathematical learning across the school (2023-2024).
- Use of Space: Through: redesigning our music spaces to diversify options for students; a more welcoming cafeteria environment; new Early Childhood playground spaces (due December 2023); more flexible and agile classroom furniture for upper PYP and MYP (due December 2023); updated Campus Master Plan to identify areas for transformation and innovation; building elevator, bathrooms and stairwells in the Yellow Building.
- Use of Time: Revised Master Schedule based on feedback from students and faculty which: allows for transition times between classes; enhances opportunities for collaboration between and across grade levels; ensures we can offer a broad and balanced programme.
- Organizational and Professional Learning: As our teams explored best practices in 5 core areas related to the NEASC-IB Collaborative Learning Protocol, as well as via the PAS Definition of High Quality Learning. 3 members of staff also became NEASC-qualified School Evaluation Visitors last year, and one of our staff was invited to present at the IB Global Conference in Toronto, Canada.
We will continue to build on these important areas, and focus on the ways in which we can continue to evolve, enhance and transform our approach to learning over the coming years. As we think about the 2023-2024 academic year, some important questions which are ripe for reflection and exploration include:
- How can we balance the challenges and opportunities that technology provides in a way that harnesses its potential for good?
- How can we ensure that we equip our students with the skills and habits necessary to develop healthy habits in an ever more online world, and help them develop the ability to sustain deep, creative thinking around hard problems?
- How can we develop deeper and more impactful student experiences grounded in service, outdoor learning, and greeted engagement and impact in the world around us?
- How can we maximize the expertise of our team - teachers, learning assistants, learning support team, and administrators - to effectively implement Multidisciplinary Intervention Teams to support mathematics and social and emotional learning.
- How can we continue to improve student aspiration and achievement to ensure that a culture of high expectations is shared by all members of the learning community.
- How can we develop more focused and impactful support structures for students, particularly in relation to social and emotional learning, as students join our community, or engage in challenging life situations during their time with us?
- How can we build an inclusive learning community for all, in which everyone feels a sense of connection and belonging?
- How can we ensure celebrateion of the learning process of all our students, not just a focus on the product?
- How can we have meaningful conversations with students about their growth in the skills that equip them for success at PAS and beyond?
Use of Space
- How can we reimagine our current spaces to provide for learning environments which best meet the needs of all our learners?
- How can we maximize our outdoor spaces to enhance our students ability to engage in the natural world, and help to develop more sustainable practices for the future?
- How can we reimagine our Learning Hub to ensure that? How can we use and transform our outdoor spaces to develop spaces that promote connection, wellbeing and healthy habits?
- How can our PAS identify - who we are - become reflected in the built, natural and virtual spaces our learners engage in?
- How can we use our outdoor spaces in a way that supports diverse needs (sports, wellbeing, nature connections, etc.)
Use of Time
- How can we maximize our use of time to impact learning for all?
- How can we reimagine our use of space and time to create opportunities for students to become self-directed, independent learners?
- How can our schedule empower students to take ownership of their (time for) learning on campus?
- How effective is our use of time right now, and does it align with the needs of our learners?
Organizational and Professional Learning
- How can we continue to develop and deepen our understanding of high quality learning?
- How can we partner with external agencies, experts etc. to develop Pan-American School as a hub of high quality learning?
- How can we develop our capacity in important areas that position our community for success in an unknown future?
As we continue to reflect on these - and other - questions, some important areas for action have already been identified, and will form important areas of focus, for the coming year. These include:
I hope that this shares an insight into some of the reflections, conversations and initiatives that our faculty and leadership team are engaged in as we continue to reflect on how to deliver on our mission and vision.
Would you like to share your feedback on any of the above? Please feel free to share your comments here.