The Bridge 1.7
November 12, 2017
Each week brings us farther along the path to the opening of City of Bridges High School. We are creating a community that strives to build humane learning experiences and support the inherent good that exists in every person. We have begun a number of important relationships in the past few weeks, keep an eye out for some announcements in the near future!
I had the opportunity to speak with a group of parents this week and I shared something with them, that I think is important to share will everyone following City of Bridges High School. City of Bridges is not a neutral community. We believe that in order to have a future that is more just, more inclusive, more kind, more peaceful and more fulfilling for the whole person, our schools must be explicit in their desire to strive for this future. City of Bridges is a school that strives to Transform the Lives of Students, and it strives to Transform Our Society.
People: We are excited to introduce another member of the City of Bridges High School community!
Paige Wiegman, M.Ed.
Co-Founder and Admissions
Paige Wiegman has been an educator in public and private schools as well as out of school learning organizations for two decades. She taught at the Acworth Center School in New Hampshire before moving back to her hometown of Pittsburgh. She used her background in science and environmental education as an educator with RiverQuest before teaching science in the Lower School at The Ellis School. She currently teaches the 7th grade class at the Waldorf School of Pittsburgh. Paige is the co-founder of City of Bridges High School and will oversee Admissions for our founding year.
Most importantly, Paige is a mother, a partner, a scientist and an educator committed to supporting students on their paths of self-discovery.
Paige has a BA in Environmental Studies from Oberlin College and an M.Ed. in Integrated Learning and Environmental Education from Antioch University New England. She is currently completing her Waldorf Teacher Certification at Antioch University New England.
Real World Endeavors: Schooling has become something separated from life. I have spent my career working in schools and many of the activities and experiences that weave the fabric of the day are unique to the experience of schooling. Students demonstrate learning through tests and assignments that bear no resemblance to anything they will do in their lives beyond school. Students are standardized both in their inputs and their outputs. These systems make control, evaluation, and ranking easier, but they do not prepare students for life. When people ask me, what is City of Bridges High School preparing students for, I have been saying, it is Preparing them for Life. I have recently become aware of another school that serves as an inspiration for COBHS, The Shambhala School in Halifax, Nova Scotia. On their webpage they have a video entitled Preparing for Life about Waldorf Education. I invite you to watch the video as it is an excellent reminder of what school can and should be.
Project Based Learning: I have to admit that I was reluctant to use the term project based learning initially. As with many movements in education, project based learning has become a buzzword and a way to package learning experiences to be bought and sold. A search for Project Based Learning on Amazon will yield 807 books that you can buy, some of them are theory, some of them are activities that you can bring to students. Project based learning is the seemingly simple idea that people learn best by doing. People learn best when they engage with in-depth explorations of real problems that cross disciplines and require acts of creation, reflection, revision and refinement. The best projects don’t come from books, they come from the interests of students and from the needs of their community. Place based learning is in many ways a better frame for truly meaningful learning by doing. David Sobel’s article about it is a good place to start.
Thank you for joining us on this journey. City of Bridges High School is a vessel for this community, so thank you for being part of who we are.
Thank you and Be Well,
Randy and Paige