by GLEF Staff
Copyright 2004 ©
The George Lucas Educational Foundation
Permission to use this material was granted by
The George Lucas Educational Foundation.
|Peggy Bryan |
Principal, Sherman Oaks
Community Charter School
Photo from GLEF.
Creating a New Community School
Sherman Oaks Community Charter School in San Jose, California, is what a school looks like when a passionate, creative principal is given free rein by her superintendent to "go forth and be different..."
Parental involvement and getting to know the whole child are so valued that teachers make house calls. Teachers are equal partners in running the school and have a daily 90-minute period for planning and collaboration. Technology pervades all aspects of learning and teaching -- an unusual occurrence at a school of low-income students, many for whom English is a second language.
Sherman Oaks students, who are continuously engaged in high-tech, interdisciplinary projects, also reap the advantages of being paired with one teacher for two consecutive years, a practice known as "looping." And they learn in both Spanish and English at a time when California voters and politicians are trying to do away with bilingual education.
Located not far from the companies that gave the Silicon Valley its name, Sherman Oaks has become an oasis of innovation and caring in a low-income, gang-infiltrated part of town that had been without a school for 25 years.
The K-4 school reflects the educational philosophy of Principal Peggy Bryan and the teachers, as well as the concerns of parents who were consulted about what they wanted in a new school. Sherman Oaks attempts to meet not just the academic needs of its students but their emotional and social needs as well.
At Sherman Oaks, students, their teachers, the principal, other staff, and parent and community members participate fully in building a powerful learning community.
Page created on 7/2/2006 4:46:54 PM
Last edited 7/2/2006 4:46:54 PM
- The George Lucas Educational Foundation magazine celebrates the unsung heroes across America who make education a place where students are motivated to learn and teachers are energized by the excitement of teaching.
The Rev. Peggy Bryan, Priest-In-Charge
- St. Philip, Deacon and Evangelist Episcopal Church