WCS is a member of the Agile Learning Network, which promotes self-directed education through community and intentional culture in which children feel heard, all facilitated through the use of practical and concrete agile management tools. Each Agile Learning Center is unique in its approach, but they are all united on these common values.
Below are some of the tools you will see in practice at WCS:
- Set-the-Week is a meeting for introducing and scheduling a new week’s opportunities—trips, projects, classes, games, film screenings, etc—which we refer to as “offerings.” These meetings are met with enthusiasm and get everyone excited about the week to come. Resource people make special offerings and get commitments from those interested. There are progress checks on regular offerings to decide whether they should continue. Groups working on long-term projects increase their work days or rehearsals as benchmarks and showcases approach. Possibilities become plans, and these get posted on a Weekly Schedule Board where they’re easily referenced through the week.
- WCS holds Morning Meetings, during which each person states their intentions for the day and makes any requests for support they may need. This simple process takes only ten to fifteen minutes, but it starts each day with intention, accountability, and a chance for cross-pollination.
- A Daily Schedule Board outlines the scheduled offerings for the day. New offerings can be added to it as they come up. Depending on the age group, at WCS, we often highlight a specific time and location for the offering and post these on the board for quick reference.
- An Offerings Board lists possible offerings and opportunities. Agile Learning Facilitators (ALFs), parents, resource people, and students can contribute to this repository of potential whenever they want to make their time, skills, or off-site adventures available to others.
- At Community Mastery Board (CMB) meetings, all staff and students gather for a check-in. WCS holds this meeting weekly, and the goal is to discuss and possibly change-up school culture. Participants bring “awarenesses” to the meeting. Maybe they are aware that there isn’t a norm established regarding use of a specific room, and they bring it to the group’s awareness because they want clarity. More often, the awareness is an issue that the participant would like the group to address. The group brainstorms solutions and then picks one to try out for a short period of time. We refer to these trial solutions as being in “implementation.” The group revisits the solutions in implementation at their next change-up meeting; those that are working move from implementation to “practicing,” where they stay until they become an established community norm—part of the culture—and the issue vanishes. If a solution in implementation turns out not to be much of a solution, it gets thrown out and the group suggests a different course of action.
- At WCS, we also host a monthly Family CMB Meeting, which is structured much like the weekly student CMB meeting. It is a time when parents/guardians get together to bring up and discuss larger community awarenesses and suggest solutions, as well as to highlight progress and share productive input