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Learning Excursions

Co-Designers Rita Harvey (of C!E) and Soraya Ramos (of ELP) introduce the Learning Excursions for the convening:
Check out the Learning Excursion descriptions below!
Student Agency & Student Voice

Sunnyside Unified has intentionally worked towards building student and teacher capacity to articulate student agency and the explicit ways it shows up in learning. Rooted in the work of formative assessment practices in the classroom, students describe and articulate how they demonstrate agency and the role of student voice in learning. During this learning excursion, participants will visit Desert View High School and engage in conversations with students and educators to conceptualize the instructional infrastructures and their impact on student learning.

I Am a Scholar: Reaffirming Academic & Ethnic
Identity Through Relevant Content

In this learning excursion in Tucson Unified School District, participants will have an opportunity to witness a culturally relevant humanities classroom at Tucson Magnet High School, experience Chicano/a mural art, and access curated resources at (Culturally Relevant Pedagogy and Instruction (CRPI)). Participants will see how students thrive when educators value both ethnic and academic identity formation.

Student-Centered Formative
Assessment Practices

In Sunnyside USD, formative assessment is a deeply integrated practice. During this excursion, participants will visit Rivera Elementary School where student voice will set the tone for a classroom observation. Participants will first assume the role of student, and then teacher, before reflecting together on the ways in which student-centered formative assessment can impact their own systems to improve outcomes for historically underserved groups, including students with IEPs and emerging multilingual learners.

The Quilt Liberation

Educators in Tucson Unified understand that representation in literature is critical. Students in Tucson Unified are provided with opportunities to explore literature that is responsive to how they engage with the richness and complexity of society, while exploring real world topics that need to be discussed, seen, and humanized. Join this excursion with students from Catalina High School. We will explore how students learn about, process, and move with critical hope while discussing immigration in Arizona. We will be discussing, The Devil's Highway, by Luis Alberto Urrea, and moving through an activity learners, alongside students. We will be hearing from students, who will serve as our docents as we move through Los Desconocidos: The Migrant Quilt Project at the Arizona History Museum. Participants will engage in reflection and have critical dialogue about the experience, then create a group quilt to explore and express the concept of liberation in their own work.

Leveraging a Coherence Framework for Systems Change

Sunnyside Unified School District leverages a Coherence Framework to align all of its initiatives, including formative assessment, equitable grading, feedback cycles, educator evaluation, and more. In this excursion, we will unpack this framework and experience how it is implemented at the system, school, classroom, and student levels through different lenses. We will visit classrooms, talk to district and school leaders and teachers, and have a student panel so that we can better understand their experiences as the end-users of the framework. We will also engage in hands-on, relevant learning by using some of the tools SUSD has created and participating in their processes, and we will debrief our experiences with district staff and consider implications for our own systems.

Bringing Community Voices to Youth
Participatory Action Research

Centered in Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) and community organizing, this learning excursion asks participants to consider how assessment looks different when young people act as change agents in their community. Participants are invited to participate in an Ed Cafe with YPAR students from Catalina High School and members of the Tucson business community, as students collaborate on designing and implementing projects that are anchored in both student passions and community needs. You will serve as a thought partner to teams of young people as they connect theory to practice, helping them as they explore their research questions. This learning excursion will also serve as a launch for community involvement with the YPAR courses at Catalina High School.

Equitable Grading Practices

In this excursion we will visit Sunnyside High School to understand equitable grading practices in Sunnyside Unified School District. We will explore the productive and normative practices they’ve established to support the policies that stem from Sunnyside’s coherence framework. Students will guide our learning at the school as they share their experiences of schooling with these grading practices.

Grounding into Place: Tucson YPAR Immersion

Welcome to Cholla High School, where students drive their learning and are engaged in their community. While on campus, participants will map students’ lives with them and immerse themselves in students’ activities and passions at school and beyond. We will take a quick trip down the hill to Mission Garden, a living garden at the site of the Native American village of S-cuk Son at the base of Sentinel Mountain, where participants will work with students to refine the focus of their YPAR (Youth Participatory Action Research) projects and share what they learn with one another.

Humanizing History with
Dialectic Teaching

At Tucson High School, the Culturally Relevant (CR) classes establish a humanizing culture and climate that supports students by utilizing dialectic teaching and learning. By creating the space for critical discourse, learners are empowered to work in dialectic circles where they co-create and negotiate meaning from the world around them. On this visit, you will witness a CR Government class as students learn to work and thrive in this dynamic process. In seeing the beginning stages of dialectic circles, the scaffolds needed to integrate this strategy will be revealed. You will also hear from a panel of students about the barriers they overcame and the benefits they gained participating in classes using this pedagogical strategy. Overall this experience will highlight how dialectic teaching practices promote student empowerment and preserve rigor through the development of formal academic writing and oratory skills.

Learner Identity Through the Lens
of Native American Education

Sunnyside Unified School District (SUSD) aims to ensure equitable and inclusive practices reflective of their culturally diverse and rich community by centering identity, purpose, and agency in ways that sustain the diversity students bring to their learning. SUSD's purpose is to ensure that the community, families, and every child has an equitable opportunity to learn, belong, and succeed during their time in SUSD. During this learning excursion, deepen your understanding of identity by visiting schools and programs across SUSD that exemplify identity and learner identity, through the lens of Native American Education.

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