AUSD is Leading the Way
The Antioch Unified School District is leading the way in a statewide effort for High School Reformation. Five years ago AUSD applied for a grant and project from the James Irvine Foundation that brought in monetary resources and experts to incorporate a new model of educational reform known as Linked Learning. Antioch’s Superintendent Dr. Donald Gill and the AUSD school board has fully embraced this new model of educational reform and created numerous academies at each of the Antioch High Schools.
For the past five years, this grant has allowed AUSD to be involved in a California Linked Learning District Initiative, which aims to demonstrate that when school districts use Linked Learning as a primary district strategy for high school transformation, student outcomes improve. Only nine California districts were able to participate in this phenomenal opportunity. AUSD now offers pathway academies in Medicine, Law, Engineering, Business, Technology, and the Performing Arts with more on the way.
The data from these school districts is coming in with Higher Test Scores, decreased levels of truancy and overall students who are more engaged in their own educational process than ever before. Because of the promising data, the state of California wrote an Assembly Bill last year known as AB790 which sought out twenty school districts that would continue the work of Linked Learning over the next five years. Looking to collect more data and give the beginning districts more time to expand their pathways. AUSD partnered with Mount Diablo and Pittsburg School Districts to work together as surrounding districts to expand Linked Learning. The three school district cohort grant known as The Diablo Delta Corridor Project was applied for and accepted by the state of California in January of this year.
The Diablo Delta Corridor Project is an interesting model for Linked Learning as it looks to engage Businesses in order to create greater dialogue and more understanding for our students coming directly from the source of the employers of the future. This Linked Learning model allows student education to incorporate Math, English, Science and Social Study core learning into a thematic relevant and engaging pathway around the student’s direct area of interest. It’s not Math for the sake of Math or English for the sake of English, it is Math, English, and Science taught to help a student understand the topics that make them want to learn.
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