Hello Incline, Crystal Bay, and North Shore Tahoe community advocates!
On Tuesday I spoke with the Incline Realtors Association about the need and opportunity we have in Incline to solve several challenges we are facing:
1 - WCSD wants to close Incline Middle School due to steadily declining enrollment, 25% building utilization, and high costs to modernize the building. They say there is plenty of capacity to move the 146 students to elementary and/or high school. I and most residents I know think it's much better for these adolescents to have their own space. WCSD and I agree that our young people deserve to have beautiful spaces to do projects with small teams of youth and coaches can co-create real-world community solutions together. The days of 30 student subject-based classrooms, with desks in rows, white boards, paper-based worksheets, and teaching to the test must be updated. We're now talking cross-disciplinary, cross-age projects in "playgrounds" with learners building their portfolios of competencies in all areas of personal and professional development with coaching; physical, social-emotional, imaginal, mental, and integral. This cannot be achieved within the 40+ year old traditionally-designed IMS building. In addition, it's getting harder to recruit good school leaders and teachers who can afford to live in Incline.
2 - IVGID Board meetings have become increasingly dysfunctional and vitriolic as ideological battles rage about it's fundamental role as a governing and asset-holding entity. A $26 Million gift to build an addition to the Recreation Center for teens was not approved by 1 trustee. The well-liked General Manager was forced out along with other unilateral and unpopular actions that have led to a multiple Trustee recall now underway. Another initiative is underway to create a City of Incline with the hope of operating more effectively than a GID. However, the fundamental disagreements will persist no matter the structure or leadership in place: should we even have taxes, public education, or civil discourse to find a common, higher ground?
Meanwhile, existing and potential incoming families with children are seeing these issues as red flags that Incline isn't going in the right direction - for education, economic sustainability of a middle class, or quality of civic life.
What about the wealthy "baby boom" from COVID evacuees coming to Incline for quality of live? Pre-K programs are bursing at the seams and the LTS waitlist gets longer with the threat of IMS closure.
I'm a 20 year resident who raised 2 kids here - now in their 20s - living in Bay Area not making ends meet on their own and not sure what the really want to do in life (after very expensive 4 year colleges in CA and changes of majors =(). I've watched my kids suffer through both the private and public school system that remains oriented to stressful standardized testing and college prep - not to learning how to self-develop to one's unique potential. How to love learning with others and creating.
Thanks to 20 years of trying to bring Incline and others into the 21st century of education, I'm optimistic we finally have a pathway to solve our challenges in Incline. Firstly, I'm drawing on my diverse, international life experiences of being a parent leader in public and private schools, a PhD in Transformative Learning and Change, an MBA in muiltinational management and information systems, strategic business and technology consultant with Bain and Co and Anderson Consulting/Accenture, and a BA in systems engineering and economics (GE, IBM, AT&T internships). Then add to that three prototype/pilots conducted in Incline since 2021 and excellent colleagues on the EIC team helping with designing and conducting those prototypes, and endorsement from WCSD leadership to conduct strategic planning for the future of IMS, and I am confident that we are well-positioned to thread this tricky needle to find an exciting, visioning, world-class solution to our growing challenges.
It involves first forming a strategic Thrive Town Incline Design Club with youth, parents, businesses, and residents envisioning scenarios for the physical facility and virtual personal development and collaboration platform and programs. We're already designing these to empower all Incline Middle School students (and more in future as baby boom grows older) as well as of our K-20+ youth (including college and beyond) in the community, employers, community leaders and organizations (non-profits), seniors, all residents and tourists too! Anyone who wants a fun, enlightening, social place to grow themselves personally and professionally - to learn, play, work, create, collaborate, and innovate together in project playgrounds with latest technologies. Because we're using web3, AI, VR/AR, and blockchain technologies for Thrive World self-directed project collaboration in the metaverse, our kids can work on projects with peers and coaches in Reno, Sparks and across the region - and eventually the state and beyond.
Our kids can help us engage creatively in dialogue and envision the ideal place where INCLINE, CRYSTAL BAY and NORTH TAHOE youth and communities can thrive together - universally and metaversally!
Want to be part of the Thrive Town @ Incline Tahoe vision and planning process?
See THRIVE INCLINE DESIGN CLUB FLYER
Learn more and sign-up to participate through EIC THRIVE ECOSYSTEM SURVEY HERE.
While you're on that page, you'll see a video invitation to give feedback and endorsement in the survey to help us win a national innovation in education award through the YASS PRIZE.
With their funding and community of leading edge educations, we have the potential to create a truly WORLD CLASS SHOWCASE for vibrant education and community where EVERYONE UNIVERSALLY THRIVES in an increasingly crazy world!!
For more info about that, watch EIC PROGRAM OVERVIEW VIDEO (8 min) describing our programs and inspiring you to COMPLETE THE SURVEY HERE (https://www.eic-nv.org/club.html).
CAN YOU PLEASE COMPLETE THE SURVEY TODAY OR TMRW morning?
That way I can incorporate your responses to support our YASS PRIZE GRANT application - which is DUE FRIDAY!
Please SHARE this request with all you know who care about an Incline where everyone thrives - through innovative education, strong leadership, great recreation, and awesome collaborative people!
With deep gratitude,
Executive Director of Education Innovation Collaborative
President of Thrive Towns, Inc.
After the Incline Village meeting tonight with WCSD talking about future of IMS at 6 to 7pm (see blog prior to this), there is also a virtual COMMUNITY FORUM to give your input to the draft of the emerging WCSD Strategic Plan:
7pm to 8:30 PM
VIRTUAL - Zoom Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/7409955463
Hope to see you at both these events!
Forgive this long post - which is a modified version of what I just posted to my and Incline Village FB page. This is important for me to share with Incline resident friends as it affects the future health and vitality of our community and our young people.
In the Tahoe Daily Tribune April 27, Head of LTS, Bob Graves, shared his perspective on the April 5th community meeting with WCSD about potential to close IMS and move students to IHS and IES due to declining enrollment in public schools. I agree with Bob and all attendees of that meeting; that Incline needs to KEEP our middle school! We agree that ALL of our schools need to be strong - both public and private - despite being smaller and therefore more expensive to operate per student than other district schools. The fact that LTS costs/spends about $30K/child and WCSD schools spend less than $10k per Incline student (which is significantly higher than rest of district) indicates that public schools will always struggle to provide the quality of learning we'd like to have for ALL our kids. The persistently low academic performance of our youth - and growing gaps between high and low-achieving groups is unacceptable and deeply concerning to me. And the levels of anxiety, disengagement, and hopelessness being expressed - and acted upon - by youth of all ages is truly a crisis. It's time for caring communities to ACT.
So what can we do to ensure that IMS remains open AND we can support ALL youth K-12+ to thrive to their best futures?
I propose we COLLABORATE on a CREATIVE STRATEGIC Plan for our desired future learning ecosystem for IVCB.
This means engaging all members of the community - from youth to seniors - including all our non-profits, employers, agencies, school leaders, teachers, and community coach-mentors - to envision innovative ways to provide excellent education opportunities for lifelong growth and flourishing. Do you agree with me that the ability to thrive to one's potential is/should be a basic human right??
And that we all should have equal opportunities for the "pursuit of happiness"?
This means having the resources to explore one's unique talents and interests and develop them into goals and experiences for personal, professional, and global citizenship development. Today's schools are set up and funded primarily to transmit minimum academic knowledge for career access (e.g., factory work), and for the lucky ones, a good college. Families and community organizations need to step up to help with the rest. Which includes helping to develop the unique human capacities AI can't replace and which top employers are seeking: Creativity, Intuition, Curiosity, and Imagination. See the excellent documentary "Designing the Future of Education for the AI Era": https://youtu.be/7JHKPjDSTF8.
As Bob Graves and I discussed last week (after LTS's visiting author event about nurturing STEM curiosity and creativity in our young people), the Incline community of school leaders, teachers, parents, and STUDENTS could co-create a strategic plan with WCSD that could achieve two things: keep a distinct middle school AND create a Thrive Center for STEM/STEAM and all careers development for K-20+. This could include state-of-the-art technologies for career project design, collaboration with peers, parents, coaches and mentors anywhere, real-world problem-solving simulations, design-thinking challenges with employers, entrepreneurship business-building, studios with tech to produce music, sound, videos, art, 3D objects, and VR learning games for Self-Preneurs. IES and IHS classes and individuals could schedule visits the facility during the week and after school.
On weeknights, weekends, holidays, and summers, the school facility could become a community center and tourist attraction; an "edutainment" center with student and community project performances, VR experiences and Escape Room/scavenger game challenges - learning from the genius sight and sound artists who created immersive adventures of Meow Wolf/Omega Mart, Area 15 entertainment complex in Vegas and GSR's entertainment venue.
This vision reflects many years of development, prototyping, and grant-writing for EIC Thrive Labs - including the Thrive Town for Reno/Sparks at the Oddie District community innovation, arts, and culture center - NOW IN DESIGN and FUNDRAISING PHASE.
Youth and adults can learn about and apply to join our Thrive Design Club this spring and summer at https://www.eic-nv.org/club.html.
If desired, we could coordinate an Incline Thrive Design Club in parallel?
To share your ideas and help co-create an exciting future for Incline schools, youth, and community members to thrive to their full potential, PLEASE JOIN WCSD's community meeting on this topic this week;
May 3rd, Wednesday
6 to 7 p.m.
Incline High School Duffield Theater.
Board President Smith and other Trustees will be in attendance.
For more info: https://business.ivcba.org/.../washoe-county-meeting-on...
Thank you for your care, creativity, collaboration, and contribution to this important event!
Mary Alber, PhD, MBA
Founding Director of Education Innovation Collaborative (EIC)
To help ring in an exciting new year for students and education in Nevada, will you consider supporting EIC innovation initiatives in 2023!?
We are excited by the emerging partnerships and our progress with system development for Thrive Labs, regional Thrive Towns, and Thrive World virtual metaversal platform for personal and professional development for all youth in Nevada.
See our END OF YEAR UPDATE & APPEAL letter.
Here's Mary's brief video summary of the letter (4 mins).
Learn how you can nurture the success and thriving of all students, educators, and employers of Nevada in 2023: EIC JOIN, SUPPORT, & DONATE webpage
Please contact me if you are interested to help design and/or sponsor a Thrive Lab in your community or develop the Thrive World Portal XR learning platform!
A blessed and HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!!
With deep gratitude,
EIC Founding Director
#innovation #education #learning #community #thrive #eic #thrivelabs #development #students
MINI Design Sprint @ Tech Alley for THRIVE ECOSYSTEM
Join the Education Innovation Collaborative to envision and design the future of 22nd century learning with community across our region - and Nevada!
Calling all teens, parents, educators, and coaches who want to be part of the exciting evolution of education to youth-powered learning anywhere with anyone.
Variously referred to as the learning metaverse, Eduverse, WEB3 Education, ED3 DAO, Blockchain & NFT Portfolios, tokenized learning exchange, or EIC's original concept, Thrive Labs Ecosystem, the time has come to revision how learning and human development can happen better for all in a world without space and time constraints.
Our Design Challenge: How can we leverage WEB 3.0 technologies to unleash and empower all youth and communities to thrive together through collaborative learning, work, creativity, play, and community-building?
BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE!!
SEE Our latest video!
Honestly, I was very disappointed at the beginning of this month as two grants that we had applied to in the Spring declined to support our cause. We really thought we had a good chance to be a finalist of the Big Idea Challenge grant (funded by NV-based foundations), after the positive feedback we got when selected as a semi-finalist in May (9 out of over 200 applicants).
I'm very grateful to Laura Watson for helping to create the 1 min video (it's a miracle!) that we submitted for it: youtu.be/V_hdpfowNlU
The other grant, the Yass Prize, was a national challenge that selected 64 first round winners out of more than 500 applicants. Winners were mostly alternative schools and programs that are already operating and looking to expand. Seems we're still too early stage to be considered - but they encouraged us to apply next year.
The HOPE that I have comes from my attending the NV Department of Education's conference last week on the theme of Together: Building Nevada's Future of Education. The intention was to co-create a whole-person Profile of a Learner/Graduate that includes all the personal and professional competencies and attributes for thriving in the 22nd century - which are not accounted for by today's diplomas. These include such hard to measure things such as creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, social-emotional-mental health, digital citizenship, global citizenship, growth mindset, self-direction, and integrity.
I had so many encouraging, inspiring conversations with parent groups, non-profits, teachers, leaders, and legislators who want to see Nevada education truly transform to serve all youth and be an innovation leader in the nation. After I shared my vision for building the bridge to the future through Thrive Labs - with students leading the design - I had students come up to me and ask to be involved! I connected with several other programs interested in collaborating on bridge-building.
From both the disappointing and inspiring conversations, our TOP NEXT STEPS are to
1 - Develop partnerships and collaborations with organizations in Nevada that are more established than us - with institutional experience and successful grant applications and management - for whom we can serve as their innovation arm.
2 - Focus on building and/or partner with a platform provider for our Self-Preneur Game of Life program to quickly enable youth in design and manage their own learning plans, projects, portfolios, career pathway, and coach teams.
To this end, I've updated our communication deck and created the following video to describe our program status and invite participation in these areas:
Please share what you think; what questions do you have? What inspires you about our program and next steps?
Appreciate comments to help hone the message to be as compelling as possible!
And as always, any and all contributions to EIC's development area most gratefully appreciated!
Deep gratitude for your feedback, faith, and support of our grand mission!
Dr. Mary Alber
On a trip to Vegas last weekend, Laura Watson, Demetria Giles (a resident) had some very inspirational experiences and discussions with people that fed our imaginations and dreams for Thrive Towns of the future (click on green to view details):
SANDBOX VR - we did the Star Trek experience - which is a lot like the holodeck on Starship Enterprise - and basically the future of learning and playing in the metaverse! (with a lot less Klingon killing and a lot more team challenge solving = ).
OMEGA MART/ MeowWolf - a fantastical sound and sight experience that taps the best of human creativity, technology, story-telling, and mystery solving (an Escape Room on major steriods).
TEEN TECH CENTERS at select Clark County Libraries - 12 and above kids can create anything they want - including their unique career path - with latest technologies and expert coaches.
UNLV INNOVATION HUB (Research & Technology Park, Black Fire Innovation Hub) - showcasing and building a better future including nurturing advanced technologies for interactive robots and VR to support next-generation hospitality, gaming, learning, and living.
GREAT WOLF LODGES - family resorts with MagiQuest challenges to solve throughout the property.
OCULUS QUEST GAMES - exploding number of games and development dollars pouring in!
Put all of these together - connected by EIC's SELF-PRENEUR GAME OF LIFE program for self-directed, gamified project learning with career development - and you've got all the components of THRIVE TOWN COMMUNITIES who LEARN, WORK, and PLAYFULLY CREATE together!
Do you want to SPONSOR INTERNS this summer to create the dream? Through EIC's Thrive Town Design Internship, we're recruiting young people 12 to 23 and sponsors to empower kids to be designers of their - and our - brightest future!
Connect with me to explore possibilities....
Founding Director of Education Innovation Collaborative
We are now actively recruiting students from Incline and North Lake Tahoe to serve on a select team of RESEARCH & DESIGN INTERNS to help us crush the next phase of the competitition.
Link to PROGRAM FLYER
How? By prototyping the future of learning in the metaverse at Thrive Lab Tahoe in Incline Village. This means kids who want to make an impact can work with us to to BETA test and collaboratively develop our original GAME of LIFE program that builds personal and professional capacities to thrive for life through a gamified team-based playbook of learning adventures. Design teams will also be creating projects with employers to explore careers of interest. Finally, they will also be designing a regional hub for Thrive Labs in Northern NV based in Reno/Sparks.
See INTERNS ROLE DESCRIPTION. We aim to compensate interns in high school and above (rather than charge) but will depend on our fundraising Lot's of fun things to do and design to impact the future of learning in Incline and Nevada!
We will be selecting a limited number of motivated Interns from those who apply - to ensure we can achieve our ambitious goals to WIN the Big Idea Challenge grant - and also attract generous public and private funding before then for staff, rent, and technologies to support kids doing their career exploration projects during the next school year.
Please share this with young people you know ages 12 to 23, parents, and community coaches, who'd like to be part of a team that WINS the $500,000 pot!
Join us for INTERNSHIP INFO SESSIONS this week:
June 9 and 10 - 4:30 to 5:30 with snacks and prizes!
916 Southwood Blvd #3, Incline Village
SIGN-UP NOW to hold limited internship spot: link to SUMMER22
Looking forward to our community - young and old - coming together to make magic happen!
P.S. Value your thoughts on our early draft of the 1 min VIDEO INTRO to be submitted to Big Idea Challenge people by June 17 (yes - it's too long!).
Dear friends in and around Tahoe,
Will you please join me and the TLT Design Club for a very special event - our coming-out party of launch of a program that has long been in the works - my true passion project:
What? EIC THRIVE LAB TAHOE OPEN HOUSE
When? SUNDAY MAY 1st 4:30 to 7 pm
Where? 916 Southwood Blvd. #3, Incline Village
-> To experience an "Escape Room" style tour of our 8 design studios and projects that support personal and career development of 10 to 18 year-olds with coaching;
-> To experience a mini-project in one of the studios (your choice);
- > To participate in a FORUM to envision the Future of Learning, Working, & Playing in Incline and beyond
- > To enjoy pizza, wine (adults of course), and social time
Link here to RSVP:
Please help spread the word! Share this post with friends.
Thank you for joining us - and helping to imagine and create a brighter future for us all - together!