The biggest piece for us has been figuring out: What's the right mix in rotations? How many stations should you have? What should students be doing at those stations? How long should students be spending at each station? We are also a growing school. We are adding a grade level every year, so next year we will be K-4. Every year, we have gotten better at developing student agency and choice. Our first year, learning was really "tight" and teacher-driven. Last year, we had teachers who really wanted to take on playlists and to give girls ownership of their learning. We are moving toward teachers giving girls the ownership.
We have had some challenges with the technological infrastructure. For example, it takes kindergarteners a long time to log into certain programs on the Chromebooks. We are puzzling: How can we make sure that the logistics surrounding technology do not get in the way of learning?
Additionally, we have found that most of our teachers are coming from traditional classroom settings. Though they are great teachers, there was a big learning curve in the first year. We did not anticipate how difficult it would be for teachers to make the pedagogical shifts that accompany blended learning.
Don’t be afraid to let teachers take the lead and offer their ideas. They are the ones implementing this in the classroom. They are the ones to tell you what’s working. Also, don’t be afraid to push teachers. They are really great at pushing their students to the next level, but sometimes they get tunnel vision and struggle to think about all they can do. Once teachers get over this initial hurdle, though, you can’t stop them. To sum it up, don’t be afraid to take risks.
One of the things we talk about is our role as a model for other schools. When we built our school, we visited great schools across the country, and we want to add to that list of great schools. We really push our team to try new things, and they often exceed our expectations. To provide an example, I have two first grade teachers who have completely removed desks from their classrooms to make the space as flexible as possible. Recently, they came to me and asked if next year they could share this one huge room that we have. They want to experiment and push the boundaries on our current model of blended learning. Our teachers are the innovators who make Solar Prep a model for schools looking to serve students more personally and equitably.
Solar Prep readies girls for life success in a challenging, nurturing, and inclusive performance-based learning environment. Solar Prep's mission is to be an inclusive school community that empowers girls to live and lead with confidence and purpose. The school has a focus on STEAM and social and emotional learning and embraces blended learning in mathematics and ELA. Solar Prep opened in 2016 and will ultimately serve girls in grades K-8 living in Dallas, TX. The demographic information on this page reflects Solar Prep's enrollment during the 2016-7 school year.
Solar Preparatory School for Girls
2617 N Henderson Avenue
There are currently no past timeline events for this school.