The ‘SRI Critical Friendship’ professional development model has been foundational to the City High School and Paulo Freire Freedom School professional learning communities since the schools were founded in 2004 and 2005 respectively. In 2014 with the opening of PFFS-Downtown, the staff of all three schools began meeting together in three, cross-school SRI groups once per month. The five founders of CHS and PFFS are all national facilitators with the School Reform Intiative (the premier national education organization/teacher network promoting this type of professional development) and the SRI general theory behind critical friendship* underpins everything we do at the CITY Center for Collaborative Learning.
*Toward A General Theory of Intentional Learning Communities (Kevin Fahey and Jacy Ippolito)
City High School, PFFS-Downtown, and PFFS-University hosted the ‘Winter Meeting‘ of the School Reform Initiative January 15-17, 2015 in Tucson. Hundreds of educators from around the country descended upon Tucson to share their work together. Jeanette Mare (Ben’s Bells) provided the opening keynote and Curtis Acosta (see below) gave the rousing closing keynote.
In mid-June each year CITY Center for Collaborative Learning conducts a 5-day ‘New Coaches’ training for SRI Critical Friendship offered to educators throughout the US who are wanting to understand deeply this model and create small, powerful, intentional learning communities in their own schools (this year during the week of 6/11-15/18) . Read more, register here, and plan to join us in Tucson in June.