ACPS CivicTREK Teachers Launch 2020-21 Cohort

We are pleased to share the continuing work of the ACPS CivicTREK PBL/Service-Learning initiative! Especially as we prepare to start the school year virtually, it’s vital that project-based service-learning – which embeds academic learning into student civic action – leads to enhanced student engagement[1].

Thirty ACPS K-12 teachers met together for two days of professional development on August 19th and 20th.  They are joining an additional 13 CivicTREK “alumni” teachers who have participated in past cohorts and are serving as teacher leaders in this cohort. See the full list of teachers here.

During the initial CivicTREK PD, teachers:

  • Explored what project-based service-learning is and how it helps students acquire specific academic (SOL) content as well as Profile of a VA Graduate Five C’s skills;
  • Reviewed an introductory curricular module intentionally developed to engage students in considering one of three community issues – Responding to Racism / Black Lives Matter, Health and Wellness / the Impact of Covid-19 on our Community, and Climate Change / What is Happening in our Community;
  • Discussed together how to build the appropriate classroom culture for project-based service-learning, emphasizing the importance of relationship and relevance.

Teachers in the cohort will guide their students into implementing a small CivicTREK Changemaker Project in the fall. Scheduled “office hours” in September and October will provide additional support as teachers launch their project.

At the end of the PD, teachers were asked,“What are you excited about?”

A number of teachers noted the power of the strategy to teach civic engagement:

  • Tackling real world issues that matter to our students.

Some teachers saw the potential for their own unique content area:

  • I am excited to provide my reluctant readers with a purpose for reading that is bigger than themselves.

Others welcomed the creative and collaborative processes that they envisioned:

  • I’m excited about already having some ideas and preparation to be able to implement with my students! I’m also excited to actually see their faces, make connections with them, and help them to build connections with one another.

Stay tuned for more updates about the CivicTREK Changemakers project. We can’t wat to see what our students come up with as they Tackle Real-world Experiences for Knowledge!


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