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About Us


   ConnectedSchools was founded from a passion to help under-achieving and economically disadvantaged students have access to the same academic success and well-rounded learning opportunities as students from higher-achieving and more affluent areas of our country. Our mission is to provide all students with  a rigorous academic program,   problem-solving and creativity skills,  social/emotional learning and  technological knowledge for a thorough college, career and life readiness. Through the use of core connections, our students will also develop a passion for continuous learning and growth and the desire to give something back to our world.       

   Our vision for achieving success relies on innovative new platforms of student teaching and learning.
While many (including us at one time) believe that America’s current education system is critically broken, we at ConnectedSchools have developed an understanding that the problem is not so much  that our current system is broken,  but more that  the system is outdated and is no longer useful in a 21st century America and world. Therefore we believe that it is now time to re-envision public education, and create new learning platforms that address the needs to 21st century students, families and educators. We have taken it upon ourselves to begin this process.

   Our team is made up of life-long public educators living in Santa Cruz county California, who believe that all children regardless of language, race, nationality or socio-economic status deserve a successful educational experience. We also believe that despite a student's background or situation, he or she can thrive within an rigorous academic program, and deserves access to a  well-rounded educational experience as well.

Theories and Models


      The American system of education that is used today is based on a model that was created around the turn of the century to meet the needs of a burgeoning industrial and agricultural society. Students with various backgrounds and abilities were placed together in classrooms and provided with the same curriculum and lessons. During the course of their K-12 education, these students were assessed for their knowledge, skills and competencies and then placed in career tracts. Those students with lower knowledge and skills were placed in labor and assembly worker tracts, those with average skills were placed in vocational tracts and those with high knowledge and competencies were filtered to professional and academic learning paths.  Along with the tracking of students based on ability, other systems for American schools were also developed.  The traditional  school calendar was created to allow students to have a long summer break, so that they could assist in the fast growing agricultural sector of America at the time. School classrooms, buildings and other infrastructure were standardized throughout the country as were other education systems like student electives and enrichment, teacher training, and school funding models.  These systems and others were largely based on a “typical” American student at the time.

      As we are well aware of today, there is no such thing as one typical American student.  Equally important, the American economy and society have evolved to a place that is different from the turn of the century  America on which our current education system is based. While other areas of American society like medicine, science, and agriculture have changed and evolved with the times, for some reason our education system has remained stuck in the past.  So, ConnectedSchools believes that we don’t so much need to fix a broken system, as we do need to innovate and create new teaching and learning  platforms and systems that meet the needs of students and families in 2010 America. Our old system served a purpose for many years and was by and large successful at meeting those needs. Now it is time for a new system to emerge.

   ConnectedSchools believes in the power of innovation to begin creating new ways of teaching, learning and growing for students.  We have created several new learning platforms for primary and middle school students that are based around individual students, their families and their specific needs. While high academic success is at the center of all that we do, providing a well-rounded educational experience for a prepared 21st century student is also part of our mission. 

   Through research and collective knowledge and experiences in K-12 education, the ConnectedSchools team has developed a model of learning that is based on the idea of creating and maintaining  fundamental human relationships. We have found that at the heart of any healthy society are a series of relationships that people have with each other, with groups of people, with work, with leisure, with learning and with themselves. Without these relationships in place and without a level of healthy and positive functionality being expressed in them, people begin to experience a variety of problems in their lives.  

   We have found that contained within any one type of relationship, such as a person’s relationship to their teacher, all of the other relationships are present in some form. That person’s personal relationship with the teacher, with the class, with working on a project, with enjoying a favorite subject and with themselves are present and influenced by their ability to have a successful relationship with their teacher. The student’s other relationships (and we each have hundreds of different types of relationships in our lives on any given day…) are then also present along with the relationship with the teacher.

   ConnectedSchools has developed a series of “Core Connections” that  create, support and maintain fundamental relationships that all students have while in school. One of these core connections (Connection to high academic achievement) involve systems, teaching methods and curriculum that allow individual students to access learning at multiple levels. Another core connection provides social/emotional skills and training so that each student will have a foundation of flexibility, empathy, courage, perseverance, challenge and reflection. Core connections to creativity are also in place, providing students with the safety and encouragement to think differently and creativity when solving problems and looking for solutions. Finally, the fourth core connection involves the use of technology in student learning and growth. As technology use in our daily lives continues to grow at a very fast rate, it is essential that students have a solid understanding of what is currently available and how to utilize these tools to help themselves grow and learn and help society be a better place for all.

 
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