Thursday, February 7, 2019

In Praise of Dance

In Praise of Dancing by Saint Augustine

I praise the dance, for it frees people
From the heaviness of matter
And binds the isolated to community.

I praise the dance, which demands everything:
Health and a clear spirit and a buoyant soul.

Dance is the transformation of space, of time, of people,
Who are in constant danger of becoming all brain, will or feeling.

Dancing demands the whole person,
One who is firmly anchored in the center of his life,
Who is not obsessed by lust for people and things
And the demon of isolation in his own ego.

Dancing demands a freed person,
One who vibrates
With the balance of all his powers.

I praise the dance.

O People, learn to dance,
or else the angels in heaven
Will not know what to do with you.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Monday, December 17, 2018

Seven Essential Characteristics of a Teacher at Cristo Rey De La Salle East Bay High School

(1) Loves working with young people, and empowers our student associates to become agents of their academic success;

(2) Exhibits the flexibility to pivot and is comfortable with change and transition;

(3) Listens to new educational research, displays a growth mindset, and commits to lifelong learning;

(4) Models mindfulness, culturally responsive and relevant teaching, wholeness and restorative justice practices;

(5) Collaborates openly and communicates authentically with colleagues to build an inclusive educational community;

(6) Takes creative initiative, and is self-directed and reflective in disposition;

(7) Appreciates our Lasallian Catholic heritage and tradition, and respects religious plurality.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

A Future Not Our Own

A Future Not Our Own
in memory of Oscar Romero (1917 - 1980)

It helps, now and then, to step back and take a long view. 

The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts, it is even beyond our vision.

We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction of the magnificent
enterprise that is God's work. Nothing we do is complete, which is a way of
saying that the Kingdom always lies beyond us.

No statement says all that could be said.

No prayer fully expresses our faith.

No confession brings perfection.

No pastoral visit brings wholeness.

No program accomplishes the Church's mission.

No set of goals and objectives includes everything.

This is what we are about.

We plant the seeds that one day will grow.

We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise.

We lay foundations that will need further development.

We provide yeast that produces far beyond our capabilities.

We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that.

This enables us to do something, and to do it very well.

It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an
opportunity for the Lord's grace to enter and do the rest.

We may never see the end results, but that is the difference between the master
builder and the worker.

We are workers, not master builders; ministers, not messiahs.
We are prophets of a future not our own. 

This prayer was first presented by Cardinal Dearden in 1979 and quoted by Pope Francis in 2015. This reflection is an excerpt from a homily written for Cardinal Dearden by then-Fr Ken Untener on the occasion of the Mass for Deceased Priests, October 25, 1979. Pope Francis quoted Cardinal Dearden in his remarks to the Roman Curia on December 21, 2015. Fr Untener was named bishop of Saginaw, Michigan, in 1980.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Three Draft Versions of Schoolwide Student Learning Outcomes

Version 1:

A Cristo Rey De La Salle East Bay High School graduate is a person who …

… witnesses with authenticity to the Holy Presence of God in the world.

perseveres in the face of adversity, and through a Quality Education is academically prepared to pursue a lifetime of learning.

… shows mercy, compassion, a Concern for Those in Poverty, and for Social Justice through contemplation and action.

Respects All Persons by caring and advocating for self, for our communities, and for our environment with sincerity.

understands the value of an Inclusive Community by showing an appreciation for the creative potential that sees unity within diversity.

Version 2:

(1) … is academically prepared, is self-directed in their learning, and is empowered with the cognitive skills, the content knowledge, the sense of purpose, and the habits of success to persevere through life’s challenges.

(2) … demonstrates a concern for the marginalized and disenfranchised, for social justice, and for the environment, and participates in the co-creation of a more just, verdant, and peaceful world.  

(3) … understands the value of healthy relationships as fundamental building blocks of human coexistence.

Version 3:

A Cristo Rey De La Salle East Bay High School graduate is a person who …

(1) … Develops Academic Excellence and Intellectual Agency

Masters the cognitive skills, content knowledge, and habits of success needed to pursue a college education and a lifetime of learning.

Works diligently with our corporate partners, faculty, and classmates to respond productively to constructive feedback.

Practices self-direction, resiliency, and agency.

(2) … Contributes to the Common Good Through Social Justice

Communicates with knowledge and awareness of socio-political and economic issues through a Lasallian Catholic worldview.  

Exhibits cultural competency, builds socio-political capital, and leverages both for the common good.

Examines the structural injustices of our world, particularly the needs of Oakland and the San Francisco Bay Area, and takes right action.

(3) … Leads with Integrity and Respect

Builds community through the development of authentic relationships.

Maintains a lifestyle dedicated to wholeness through healthy mindsets and choices.

Utilizes restorative justice tools to heal interpersonal harm.

(4) … Pursues a Life of Faith, Purpose, and Service

Appreciates our Lasallian Catholic heritage and tradition, and respects religious plurality.

Discerns personal gifts and talents and cultivates a sense of spiritual purpose.

Manifests compassion for self, our communities, and our environment.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Our Personalized Learning Approach

As a Lasallian Catholic learning community, we at Cristo Rey De La Salle East Bay High School believe in the power of a progressive, transformative, and relevant education.  We have partnered with Summit Learning and New Classrooms Teach To One: Math to enhance our student centered personalized learning experience. The basic tenets of our model are aligned with the Core Principles of a Lasallian Education.   
Respect For All Persons: One-on-one mentoring for every student associate.
Every student associate has a mentor at school.  Students work closely with their mentors to set goals and to realize a sense of purpose through their work.  Teachers develop strong relationships with students to understand their passions, interests, and aspirations and how they can work to achieve those learning goals.  
Concern For Poor and Social Justice: A focus on real-world projects that build cognitive skills and core knowledge.

The Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning, and Equity identified 36 cognitive skills as most critical for college and career readiness.  Our student associates develop those cognitive skills and core knowledge through real-world projects whose focus is on making our local and global communities a better place while contributing to the common good.   

Inclusive Community: Multiple learning modalities that allow students to learn in different ways.
We embrace three learning modalities that give students and teachers the flexible learning environment they require in order to meet their learning goals.  The Leveled Learning modality is an independent learning zone where students work on skill proficiency or lesson reinforcement through practice.  The Guided Learning modality is where teachers help to guide students through new skills or knowledge acquisition.  The Collaborative Learning modality is where students engage in peer-to-peer or small group learning.
Quality Education: Qualified teachers along with relevant and rigorous content that meet our student associates’s needs.
All of our teachers are highly qualified and trained in personalized learning and bring a diversity of experiences to bear in the classroom.  In addition, our course content is relevant, rigorous, and designed with the best pedagogical practices in mind.
Faith In The Presence of God: Each student associate is made in the image and likeness of God and is a unique individual with their own gifts and talents that need nurturing.  
The personalized learning experience is a way for us to nurture a student’s individuality within a community of learners who strive for competence and mastery.  We acknowledge that each student learns at different speeds and in different ways and what works for one may not work for another. We know that what students learn has to be important to them.