We are built on a design-thinking framework, with the intent to incorporate design thinking into how we run and continuously improve the school. We are constantly iterating. Deliberately, we did not want to open the doors of the school with everything “figured out.” We had the mission and vision set, but we wanted to develop the ways that these would play out on the ground more organically. For example, we have spent this past three years experimenting with opportunities for social and emotional learning, and this upcoming school year we’re going to draw on our observations to develop a competency framework for social and emotional learning.
Also, even though we are on the leading edge of personalized learning in Rhode Island, our teachers still have a variety of definitions of this concept. This has been part of our process of iterating and trying things: learning to trust one another to experiment and grow. We are approaching our Mastery-Based framework similarly. 2017-8 was our first year of implementation, and it is exciting to be able to sit down as a team and reflect on what worked and where we need to go. We have learned that there are some things such as grading policy that a school should have from the day it opens, but, in general, we are enjoying and finding fruitful this process of iteration.
There is a challenge around communicating how and why our work differs from that of a traditional high school. Some families have chosen us because they want a smaller high school, rather than because of the initiatives specific to our school. It is important for us to communicate about competency-based education, about personalized learning, but our district does not have a cohesive approach for these communications. We are working on how we as an individual school can improve on this front, but there is a capacity challenge. We are iterating all the time, and we understand how important it is to communicate change to stakeholders.
Also, we have experienced dramatic leadership changes in the district, and we have received mixed messages. There is this constant tension: “Go forth and innovate, but do certain things the way we’ve always done them.” Many, if not all, of the school leaders who received the same Carnegie Opportunity by Design grant that enabled our school start-up have moved on to other projects. Unfortunately, there is a high burnout rate around this type of innovative work.
Great face-to-face instruction is paramount – not just teacher-to-student, but also student-to-student. It is about creating opportunities for collaborative learning; this is what work in the twenty-first century is going to be about. Every blended learning decision you make should be in service of students and their specific needs. We’ve been moving so quickly in the ed tech sector that we’re often focused on “solutions,” rather than students. We’ve seen students come to our school increasingly familiar with learning technology, having used it at the middle school level. Some students come to us and say, “I don’t like to work in groups. I like to work alone.” That isn’t how we do things at our school; students are going to need social and emotional skills to succeed in college and in the workplace.
360 High School is committed to preparing each student for outstanding success in college and career. At 360 High School, students are immersed in real-world learning experiences and civic involvement. 360 High School's instructional framework centers on personalized, mastery-based learning and flexible use of time and resources, allowing students to both recoup and accelerate their learning. Students, families and community members play an active role in guiding the school's ongoing development.
360 High School opened for the 2015-6 school year with approximately eighty ninth grade students, and the school will grow one grade level each year through the 2018-9 school year. The demographic information on this webpage reflects enrollment in the 2016-7 school year.
360 High School
182 Thurbers Avenue
Providence, Rhode Island
There are currently no past timeline events for this school.