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Block Party Today, Downtown – Join Us!

Block Party with City Center and PFFSThe CITY Center for Collaborative Learning is hosting the street party of the year downtown today beginning at 4:00 pm on Pennington Street – between Scott and Stone. The Pennington Street Block Party is “a family-friendly event in the heart of Downtown Tucson celebrating what young people do to make our community a better place. Join us celebrating Tucson youth.”  Come join us!

The vision and mission of CITY Center for Collaborative Learning is to transform public schooling everywhere by providing professional development in best teaching practices (PBL*) to teachers and principals through guided observations of demonstration learning environments, as well as, workshops, trainings, and targeted coaching and consulting.

*PBL refers to Project-Based Learning.  We are committed to creating powerful, project-based units of instruction that are driven by authentic problems embedded in our shared place.  As part of the CITY Center for Collaborative Learning – the Innovation Center, the farm-to-table food program, and our three innovative, small public schools  – will be demonstration sites/lab environments for STEM and the Arts using a project-based instructional model.  See the 8 Essentials for Project-Based Learning (by BIE)

Within the CITY Center for Collaborative Learning:

  • Paulo Freire Freedom School – Downtown at 47 East Pennington St and Paulo Freire Freedom School – University at 300 East University Blvd will be demonstration sites/lab middle schools for best PBL instructional practices and small middle school design;
  • City High School at 47 East Pennington St will be a demonstration site/lab high school for best PBL instructional practices and small high school design;
  • The building at 37 East Pennington St will be renovated and city2become the CITY Innovation Center, equipped with 21st Century learning spaces, design/maker spaces, and fabrication lab – shared by all three schools and with the public;
  • Las Milpitas Farm, will become become part of a fully integrated farm-to-table food program between the three schools and the Innovation Center and a demonstration learning environment as well ;
  • and the entire CITY complex will become a professional development/outreach center that provides guided ‘model classroom’ observations of our PBL learning environments to public educators in Tucson and throughout southern Arizona, as well as, targeted professional development to support the implementation of PBL instructional practices and small school design at other public schools.

This is our shared dream for CITY Center for Collaborative Learning and it is fast becoming a reality.

photo 3The CITY Center for Collaborative Learning is bringing to fruition years of collaborative efforts between the founders of City High School (Carrie BrennanBrett Goble, and Eve Rifkin) and Paulo Freire Freedom School (JoAnn Groh and Santo Nicotera).   Not everyone knows that in 2002 these five founders were actually thinking about starting one school together but instead decided to design two separate small schools – a high school and a middle school.  These two schools operated as sister schools since opening in 2004 (CHS) and 2005 (PFFS) – acting as ‘SRI Critical Friends‘ and sharing professional development together.  Front6-11b (2)JoAnn and Santo opened the second PFFS on the City High School campus this year.  Recently the three schools hosted the national ‘Winter Meeting’ of the School Reform Initiative here in Tucson.

The creation of CITY Center for Collaborative Learning will insure the sustainability of these three amazing public schools long into the future and beyond the tenure of their five founders, but even more importantly, will make a significant positive impact upon public education and its transformation in Tucson, in the state of Arizona, and throughout the southwestern United States for years to come.

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