Pulldown Menu

Posts Categorized: Director’s Words | Blog

A New Education: Our four-phase approach to safety, equity, health, wellness, and engaged learning

City High Students Recognized as Finalists for National NPR and NYTimes Podcast Awards

This week, four City High School students were named as finalists in The New York Times Student Podcast Contest. The students, listed below, created their podcasts in Sarah Bromer’s Radio Production class, where students learn how to write, record, edit, and produce their own radio stories. The class publishes a monthly podcast called “City High Radio.” Stay posted—The New […]

Protests, Activism, Justice, and Equity

The murder of George Floyd last week by a Minneapolis police officer is not just the result of one single police officer, it is the result of the ongoing, deep-seated racism in our country. The images swirling on our tv’s and through our social media feeds show a devastatingly aggressive militarized police force. Peaceful protests […]

CITY Center Announces New School Leadership

It is with excitement that we announce the new administrative team for the three CITY Center for Collaborative Learning schools. Our new leaders are an extraordinary group of educators who are committed to the mission and vision of our schools and our organization and will also use their experience and wisdom to push our thinking […]

Fall Film Screening – Paper Tigers

CITY invites Tucson to join us at our downtown campus for a screening of Paper Tigers, a film that follows a year in the life of six students at an alternative high school that has radically changed its approach to supporting students, becoming a promising model for how to break the cycles of poverty and […]

How to avoid data-based mistakes.

by Tim Grivois-Shah, Ed.D., Director of Professional Learning and Community Engagement Positive Behavior Interventions and Support is what schools implementing PBIS call the systems, practices, and data they use to support positive social, emotional, and academic outcomes for students. Systems are the routines and procedures to make clear what staff are supposed to do.  Practices […]

Five concrete ways schools can support homeless youth

by Tim Grivois-Shah, Ed.D., Director of Professional Learning and Community Engagement While finding an exact number is difficult, in 2002, the Department of Justice estimated that there were 1,682,900 homeless and runaway youth living in the United States. As Dr. Eve Rifkin and colleagues found in their study, students who lack stable housing are often […]

Five resources to support teaching social skills like we teach academic content.

-by Tim Grivois-Shah, Ed.D., Director of Professional Learning and Community Engagement. FTeaching students to be well-regulated, good human beings is as important as content mastery. Here are five resources that might help educators integrating social skills instruction into their practice. Milwaukee Public School’s Social and Academic Instructional Group Curriculum Milwaukee Public Schools has develop a […]

Why are we always talking about self care?

Certainly, children who have experienced trauma have a right to know that that are loved and cared for when they are at school, and they have a deeper right to know that love for themselves and from themselves. And, while we can teach students to care for themselves, we have to know how to care for ourselves first.

Teachers from the Summer PLC Institute

Building transformation-centered professional learning communities: less spreadsheets, more connection.

The most powerful way to enhance the quality of teaching and learning in a school or district is to establish a transformation-centered professional learning community. And, the fastest way to ensure that a professional learning community decays into a stack of agendas, templates, and binders is to neglect the relationships at the center of our work.

Listening to our students...and meaning it.

When a school listens to the kids….and means it.

I’m grateful for the bravery of the teachers who sought their students’ candid feedback, listened to what their students said, and reflected on this conversation so powerfully. Building strong relationships with students means being vulnerable to our students and giving them a space to speak their truth. When a school listens to the kids—and means it—the likely result are systems, data, and practices that support all learners.

Teacher salary report, FY18-FY21

A message from the CITY board of directors and administrative leadership: In accordance with Arizona state requirements, we are again providing information on teacher salary levels and increases for CITY Center for Collaborative Learning, as reflected in the 2020-2021 proposed budget approved by the Board (the word board has this link https://cityccl.org/about/board/) on June 25, […]

New Principal for PFFS-Downtown: Welcome, Tamela Thomas!

Tamela Thomas has been selected as the next principal of Paulo Freire Freedom School-Downtown. She will begin her new post on July 1. Tamela comes to CITY after seven years of leadership experience in TUSD, most recently as an assistant principal of Tucson High School. Previously, Tamela taught middle school and high school science in […]

@CITYccl Team - Deeper Learning 2018

Join our team! CITY hiring for 2019-2020

Highlighted openings for the coming year include: City High School Math Teacher City High School Dean of Student Life & School Culture Check out our Employment page for details. At CITY Center for Collaborative Learning we pride ourselves on being a professional learning community that values adult learning and teacher leadership. We prioritize investment of resources […]

Year-end appeal: Help us finish strong!

May is a happening month around here! We launched the final stretch of the school year with 8thgrade portfolio gateway presentations on May 1 and have not slowed down. The seniors spent a few days camping on Mt. Lemmon reflecting and connecting, and then came down the mountain to do their gateway presentations on May […]

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 […]

How your PBIS team can develop effective behavior interventions

Building on the last Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS) post, this article explains how to use precise problem statements to develop interventions that are highly likely to work for each school’s unique learning environment.

Better data. Better decisions.

by Tim Grivois-Shah, Ed.D., Director of Professional Learning and Community Engagement Imagine that instead of reading and math, the AzMERIT assessment was a pull-up contest. Researchers, legislators, and school leaders worked together and decided that to be college and career ready, it was essential that every student, no exceptions, be able to do 5 pull-ups […]

Systems, Data, and Practices Support Outcomes--PBIS

Use data to upgrade Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports

Schools that collect student discipline information digitally have a powerful tool for identifying precisely what problem the PBIS team should solve, what measurable goals to set, what solutions are likely to align with the problem. One powerful protocol to move your PBIS from problem to solution in an hour or less is to:

-Use data that your school likely already collects to define a precision problem.

-Design solutions that match the problem that needs to be solved.

Using a protocol to structure professional learning community time.

Elevate collaboration with the power of protocols

A protocol is a structure that creates space to have difficult conversations about root causes of problems. Everyone involved in teaching and learning is part of a complex relationship between variables we can control and circumstances beyond our influence. By talking about issues in ways that uncover root causes, name and validate feelings, and ensure that all involved completely understand the problem the team is facing, Professional Learning Communities can develop solutions that benefit their students.

Board leads search for interim executive director

A professional learning community can (and should) be about teachers.

by Tim Grivois-Shah, Ed.d., Director of Professional Learning and Community Engagement Schools often designate time for teams of teachers to meet as part of a Professional Learning Community. Usually, the purpose of this time is to develop a common understanding of what students need to learn, monitor student performance on different kinds of assessments, or […]

Frank Di Pietrapaul leads a tour of Las Milpitas

What does an environmentally based school look like?

-by Frank Dipietrapaul, Farm to School Coordinator at CITY Center for Collaborative Learning Imagine attending a school located on a farm from a young age.  A school centered on environmental stewardship and a connection to the earth seems like a fairy tale, doesn’t it?  Yet, some of the most pressing issues facing the world today […]

Board commends founder & executive director’s legacy upon announced departure

TUCSON, Arizona, March 7, 2019 – CITY Center for Collaborative Learning’s board of directors recently approved a resolution recognizing and appreciating the outstanding service and contribution of one of the organization’s founding principals and its executive director, Carrie Brennan. Brennan has recently accepted the position of Head of School at Thetford Academy in Vermont and […]

E.D. Carrie Brennan receives Woman of Influence award

Executive Director Carrie Brennan won the 2019 Woman of Influence Award in the education category. In this blog post, we share excerpts from Carrie’s nomination, written by board chair and vice-chair Jonathan Martin and Theresa Mary Fischer. For more than a quarter century, Carrie Brennan has had a deep impact on the Southern Arizona education sector and […]

Board Chair Jonathan Martin shares an important update

A message from CITY Center for Collaborative Learning Board Chair, Jonathan Martin To Our Valued Community: I recently received news from Carrie Brennan, our longtime organizational leader and one of our co-founders, that she will be stepping down from her current post in June 2019. [Read Carrie’s message to the community.] I want to share […]

Executive Director Carrie Brennan to step down June 2019

Carrie Brennan, Executive Director and Co-Founder of CITY Center for Collaborative Learning, shares news of her departure at the end of the 2018-2019 school year. Dear Members of the CITY Community – Students, Parents, Alumni, Staff, Board, Community Partners & Supporters, At the end of this school year, I will join ranks with the graduating class […]

Professional Learning Communities

Straight talk from substitute teachers

by Tim Grivois-Shah, Ed.D., Director of Professional Learning and Community Engagement and former substitute teacher. From time to time, teachers need to be away from their classrooms to care for their families and for themselves, to attend conferences and workshops, or to collaborate with their grade level teams. The substitute teachers who care for students […]

Build relationships first

by Tim Grivois-Shah, Ed.D., Director of Professional Learning and Community Engagement Build relationships first. All the rest can come next. In most elementary schools, students spend almost all of their day with one teacher. Recently, some schools have tried different ways to organize learning time. One idea has been to group students in “specialized” classrooms […]

Edcamp Tucson: When teachers lead the conversation

by Tim Grivois-Shah, Ed.D., Director of Professional Learning and Community Engagement Edcamp Tucson is coming up on February 9, 2019 at 8:30am and happens at CITY Center for Collaborative Learning twice a year and. And I have no idea what we’ll be talking about yet. Most professional learning events for teachers are planned well in […]