Thank you for taking the time to visit our website and learn about our school. We hope that this website will be helpful in keeping you informed about the many activities and events taking place at the UW Lab School. Families, UW students, UW faculty, and community members are an important part of our work and we welcome your involvement and participation in all activities.
In June, the UW Lab School was invited to join the Ashoka Changemaker Schools Network. Ashoka’s goal is to ensure every child grows up to be a changemaker: an empathetic individual who can work in teams to solve problems. In order to achieve this goal, the Changemaker Schools Network was created. The network is a national community of leading schools that serve as models for cultivating these skills in students. Schools in the network benefit from opportunities to share their best practices, collaborate with other Changemaker Schools, and connect with social entrepreneurs, young leaders, universities, and companies in the Ashoka community. These opportunities have included visiting other Changemaker Schools, presenting at conferences, and being featured in media outlets like Forbes, PBS Parents, and GOOD.
The Changemaker Schools application process involved a phone conversation with an Ashoka staff member, a school visit, a self-evaluation, and a phone conference selection panel. Upon completion of this process, the team at Ashoka shared that they were inspired and encouraged by the Lab School’s commitment to cultivating empathy in students, as well as our aspiration to ensure all children become changemakers. While others are already making inroads with policy change and the development of new measurement tools, Ashoka recognizes that true change lies in the hands of individual educators, and people immersed in daily classroom realities. Fortunately, cultivating empathy and empowering children to become effective changemakers in their communities isn’t an add-on, or a brand-new concept: it starts with simply articulating, and then amplifying, what great teaching is all about. That’s why Ashoka is committed to building a community of practice comprised not just of leading schools, but of forward-thinking educators. Over the course of the coming year, Ashoka plans to offer support through three key levers:
Ashoka’s history is built on telling a different kind of story: equipping social entrepreneurs with the language and framework they need to explain who they are, and what is truly systems-changing about their work. They want to work with schools to help them tell their story, identify the core design principles behind how they do what you do, and provide both a framework and a set of resources to showcase why a different vision of the purpose of school is critical to our nation’s future.
Too often, great teaching is locked behind closed doors: rarely leaving the confines of a single classroom or school building. Consequently, they intend to share the stories that unpack how schools do what they do, and provide both a set of inspirational role models and an accompanying set of distilled practices that other educators can apply to their own schools. Rather than focus exclusively on the school writ large, they hope to highlight specific individuals at each campus – the teachers and principals who each day help children develop the capacity to grow intellectually, socially and emotionally. Through a combination of inside-the-classroom video series, key education conferences, features and guest-blogging opportunities with various media partners, they believe they can help ensure that those stories attain maximum reach.
The Network recognizes that while each school shares a powerful vision, each also brings a different set of needs, challenges, and areas for growth. Accordingly, they commit to work with school teams to identify school-specific concrete goals and to co-create action plans that help each school extend the influence of their work over the course of the year. In addition, they will act as connectors and facilitators, helping to match school leaders to opportunities within the Ashoka network and facilitating collaboration between changemaker schools both in Wyoming and around the country.
The UW Lab School is proud of our students’ achievements and the exceeding expectations rating on the Pilot School Performance Report. Four rating categories of exceeding expectations, meeting expectations, partially meeting expectations, and not meeting expectations were assigned to each school. Schools were rated using a combination of achievement, growth, equity, and participation, based on test scores from PAWS reading, writing, and science. As a school, we will continue to look at multiple performance indicators across broad educational goals. We strive to identify improvement areas and build upon strengths to sustain high levels of achievement in all areas.
For additional information about school performance, the 2013 UW Lab School Accountability Report is available on our school web site. This annual report provides a great deal of information including: student and staff accomplishments; highlights related to the school’s participation in the National League of Democratic Schools; information in the area of Coordinated School Health summarizing school opportunities related to nutrition, physical activity, and other factors promoting health and wellness; academic achievement results from a variety of measures including PAWS, MAP, and ACT Explore; and progress towards school improvement goals. This report is part of our efforts to expand the way we approach school accountability, as well as the way it is communicated.
Mary Garland, president of the John P. Ellbogen Foundation, presented the UW Lab School with the Ellbogen Meritorious Schools Award at an all-school assembly on October 4, 2013. Thirty-one percent of the school’s teachers have accomplished National Board Certification (NBC), one of the highest credentials in teaching. Mrs. McLaughlin and Mr. Lilley’s 6th grade Social Studies class took a prominent leadership role in planning and facilitating the assembly. The 6th graders also presented information about the unique 126 year history of the school. We sincerely appreciate the special guests that joined our celebration including; Mary Garland (the Ellbogen Foundation), Chris Rothfuss (Albany County Senator), Kay Persichitte (College of Education Dean), Audrey Kleinsasser (UW School University Partnership and WNBCI Board Member), Mike Hamel (ACSD1 Assistant Superintendent), Bob Besler (ACSD1 School Board), Lawrence Perea (ACSD1 School Board), Julie Radosevich (ACSD1 School Board), and many of our wonderful UW Lab School parents. The assembly provided a great opportunity to recognize the accomplishment of the NBC’s and all of the school’s outstanding staff!