Talk:Sfusd excel program

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Here is a copy of the email I sent out after the first meeting, at Noisebridge on Thursday, 2-April, 3pm to 5pm.

I'm emailing everyone who's been part of the discussion, thus far, for the after-school program.

We met yesterday at 3pm, and talked about ideas till a little after 5pm. Michael, Daniela, and Dr. Jesus couldn't make it, but Mitch, Lee, Jim, and J.D. were there.

We discussed what we would like to do, in the abstract, for the classes. Noisebridge consists of a group of talented, creative people with a diverse set of areas of expertise. We are well suited for teaching interested students a wide variety of subjects. My original thought was to have a set of classes that gave students background information and then gave hands-on experience to make something cool for each class (or set of classes) that a given teacher leads -- at the end of the curriculum, students will have several cool projects that they have made, and will have been exposed to a wide variety topics that they can explore further. Some people in the meeting suggested that some of the classes may be only for teaching useful and interesting skills, such as math. We should discuss this more at the next meeting.

I will add this to the "Discuss" tab of the wiki for the ExCEL program. The Noisebridge wiki page for the ExCEL program is here:

We came up with a list of questions, both for us, and also for Michael to ask his friend who is part of administrating the ExCEL program.

The documentation for the program isn't all that well laid out, but after going through it a few times, it appears that it is up to the participating organizations to choose:

  • the subjects of the classes
  • the schools (or elsewhere) where the classes will be held
  • the age range of the students (e.g., middle school, K-8, high school)
  • the number of classes
  • the days/times of the classes
  • the duration of the curriculum (e.g., 1 semester, summer, whole school year...)

Here is the list of questions we came up with for Michael to ask his friend at the ExCEL program:

  • What is a reasonable amount of money to ask for in our budget?
  • Does every teach need to go through an orientation?
  • If some number of us go through the approval process (fingerprinted, TB test, any required orientation), can the approved teachers bring "guest" teachers to help teach a class (or set of classes)?
  • Is ExCEL a part of the SFUSD, or a separate bureaucracy?
  • What kind of "Evaluation data" is desired for showing that Noisebridge has enriched students' lives, etc.?
  • Do other organizations that have participated in the ExCEL program get funding from outside soruces, such as grants? If so, can we get info on those sources so we (and the SFUSD) can benefit from them, also?

Here is a list of questions/topics we came up with for us to discuss in future meetings:

  • What percentage of money will go to Noisebridge and to individual teachers?
  • There are expenses involved with teaching a class, such as getting fingerprinted, getting a TB test, travel expenses -- we should determine the list of expenses and add them to the proposal budget
  • Do we want the last "class" to take place at Nosiebridge, as a way for everyone to show off their projects, and also to celebrate the end of the classes?
  • All teachers will need to deal with behavioral issues with students (to some lesser or greater degree).
  • Should each class (or set of classes) from a given teacher have a project that all students actually make? Or can some classes be mainly conceptual (such as math skills)?

I may have missed some of the questions/topics. Please add to the list if you can think of anything I missed, or anything you would like to add.

Cheers, Mitch.