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Posts By: Santo Nicotera

PLC Summer Institute: A different notion of PLC

by Santo Nicotera It is with great excitement that we anticipate our upcoming SRI ‘Critical Friendship’ facilitator training here in Tucson, June 3-7. We call this annual training the PLC Summer Institute, however, this training experience for prospective facilitators of ‘professional learning communities’ and even our understanding of a PLC itself is very different from […]

Demonstrations of Learning: Challenging our students to show what they know

Our three demonstration schools were founded upon the Coalition of Essential Schools Ten Common Principles. The 6th principle, ‘Demonstration of Mastery’, is a cornerstone of our academic program and shapes our approach to assessment as an opportunity for powerful learning. Units of instruction in our three schools – by design – include student demonstrations of understanding […]

PLC institute

The deep roots of SRI ‘Critical Friendship’ and our facilitator training

It is with great excitement that we anticipate our upcoming SRI ‘Critical Friendship’ facilitator training here in Tucson, June 11-15. We call this annual training the ‘PLC Summer Institute’, however, this training experience for prospective facilitators of ‘professional learning communities’ and even our understanding of a PLC itself is very different from what has become common practice across […]

A ‘place’ where deeper learning happens

Santo Nicotera’s Retirement Announcement: I will be retiring from the position of Director of ‘Professional Development/Outreach’ on June 30, 2018.  It has been a great honor to serve as CITY Center for Collaborative Learning’s first director of PD Outreach and to be a part of CITY Center’s emerging role as an educational leader here in […]

JoAnn Groh, Lead Facilitator for Project Based Learning

Using PBL to navigate screen time issues with teens and parents

This blog by Paulo Freire Freedom School-Downtown principal JoAnn Groh was first published on the BIE website: Possibly the most common worry expressed by parents lately is their befuddlement at what supports and limitations they should be placing on their child’s screen time and use of social media. I get it. It can be truly baffling […]

What we do and how we do it: A spotlight on the November PBL workshop

“CITY Center for Collaborative Learning designs, implements and advances exemplary practices in teaching and learning that transform the lives of young people and their educators.” Our mission statement encapsulates what we are about at CITY Center as we set out to: provide professional development for educators in southern Arizona and beyond, convene conversations on teaching […]

‘Dream Big’: A huge success

Thank You First of all, I would like to thank everyone who helped make CITY Center for Collaborative Learning‘s annual Fall film screening event last Tuesday a huge success. This year we chose the 45-minute film, Dream Big: Engineering Our World so that a younger audience might join us for both the screening and the 45-minute […]

Group of teachers at edcamp

Celebrating together our amazing teaching profession

Tomorrow is 2nd Saturday Downtown Tucson – but it is not just any 2nd Saturday in the Old Pueblo!  It is the 2nd Saturday in September which means CITY Center for Collaborative Learning is also hosting Edcamp Tucson in the morning and Teacher-To-Teacher Workshops/Conversations in the afternoon.  Both events are FREE. Join with other Tucson educators and celebrate […]

Pennington Street Showcase

Five reasons to showcase our project based learning

Innovation Spotlight

This blog by Paulo Freire Freedom School-Downtown principal JoAnn Groh was published originally on the BIE website on June 7, 2017. One of the requisite design elements in BIE’s Gold Standard Project Based Learning is the need for projects to include a “public product.” This year our schools went all in on that element by hosting […]

place-based ed - investing city plans - photo 2

On the ground with place-based education: Investigating city plans

Innovation Spotlight

This blog by City High School’s Annie Holub was published originally on the ‘Getting Smart’ website on March 22, 2017. It was probably the craziest field trip idea I’d ever had. I was sure my principal would say no. “Hey Brett,” I said casually, walking into his office. “This might be crazy, but I want to […]

The 12 gifts of community in a PBL classroom

PLC Summer Institute

Teaching the skills kids need using PBL

Most Likely to Succeed

Got MLTS! So what’s next?

‘Most Likely to Succeed’ Seen by 200+ In Tucson On October 17th, Tucson-based CITY Center for Collaborative Learning and The Loft Cinema presented the documentary film, Most Likely to Succeed with support from CommunityShare, EdLeader21, Tucson Values Teachers, and the UA College of Education.  The screening was followed by a panel discussion that included Valerie Greenhill (EdLeader21 President & Co-Founder), Steve Holmes (Superintendent […]

School work that matters

A CITY team heads to ‘Teach to Lead’ summit in Long Beach, CA

Innovation Spotlight

By Santo Nicotera Let me start by saying, what a great honor it was for our CITY Center team to be chosen to participate in the ‘Teach to Lead Summit’ in Long Beach, CA on Friday & Saturday, September 23-24. We sensed that our proposal was an important one, not only for advancing professional learning […]

Transformational learning and my journey as a teacher, learner, and leader

Transformational Learning Communities “The School Reform Initiative creates transformational learning communities that are fiercely committed to educational equity and excellence” (see SRI What We Do).  The SRI Critical Friendship model for Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) is an integral part of the CITY Center for Collaborative Learning’s work with teachers, educational leaders, community partners, and school/district teams. (see […]

Teacher leadership and the founding of our three schools

Over the course of a decade, starting in 2004, our founding team of public school ‘teacher leaders’ launched three schools in Tucson, Arizona to serve as innovative learning communities where best educational practices could be practiced and shared with the wider educational community.  We had over 60 years of combined experience as classroom teachers as we moved into the realm […]