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)