New Haven Unified School District

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Board Briefs for Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Board Briefs for Tuesday, May 16, 2017


At Tuesday night’s meeting, Co-Superintendent Dr. Arlando Smith, welcomed Principal of James Logan High School, Mr. Abhi Brar, who introduced the idea of Genius Hour to the Board.  Mr. Brar shared that Genius Hour was an idea he saw presented three years ago and worked to bring back to his site.  That first year, Mr. Brar was able to persuade English teacher, Ms. Theresa Clark, to try it out and, in the spring of 2015, nearly sixty (60) of her students presented their learning.  Now, a couple of years later, the idea has caught on with two other teachers and the number of student presenters has almost tripled.  Mr. Brar shared that Genius Hour is an excellent example of both personalized and project-based learning.

Ms. Clark and fellow English teacher, Mr. Tim Campbell, shared with the Board their learnings from this process.   “When you give students freedom and let them be creative, they can blow your mind,” Ms. Clark shared, “Let them choose what they are passionate about.”


Four students from the teachers’ classes presented to the Board.  Sophomores Sophie Zhao and Grace Yi from Ms. Clark’s class shared their Genius Hour project on the Philosophy of Love, from Mr. Campbell’s class, Elizabeth Barton-Mattos shared her learnings about Medieval Torture, and from Ms. Panebianco’s class, junior Ryan Lal, shared what he learned about Psychology and Mental Health.


For more information on Genius Hour, please click here.


Additionally, Dr. Smith read a resolution acknowledging the service of James Logan High School Board Representative Jaden Gray for his years of service and thanked him for his ongoing contributions to Logan and the district.  Though Jaden will continue at Logan, he will not be sitting on the Board next year.  Starting in the fall, Jaden will be serving on the California State Board of Education as appointed by Governor Brown. Jaden introduced the newest Student Board Representative, Kimberly Giang, who will take over for him in August of this year.


The complete agenda for last night’s meeting can be found here.