Northern California - Pathways for Students


Ben Fobert is the principal of a different kind of high school. In many ways, it is the model for the high school of the future. According to Fobert, “When we opened up the high school seven years ago, we were really interested in redesigning the way that things are done. Number one, in the sense of mastery-based learning, number two in incorporating technology to not have technology actually be the thing in the classroom, but to drive the way that we provide instruction for students and get feedback and data, and number three, redesigning the pathways that we offer for students.

“The first thing that we did is we established professional pathways, CTE pathways that helped us to really define some pathways that students could take to follow their passions,” said Fobert, “including, fully online pathways, hybrid pathways and that are also credit recovery pathways for students who may not have been successful on the first go round. Then we started looking at how do we redesign time and space in our day. Because as we know, uh, one of the hardest things to do in a school environment is to find time to collaborate for teachers to collaborate with one another.

“During the school day, we use a program called flex time manager to schedule students into teacher's classrooms when they need intervention or extension opportunities. So, we redesigned time and space in that way. And then when we implemented our online and hybrid pathways, we were able to really put the time into the hands of the students, where they were able to really redesign time, place, path, and pace of their learning. At any one given time during the day, students may have a couple of face-to-face classes during the day, and then a couple of online classes during the day as well. And so for those online classes during the day, there's no actual physical classroom that they have to go to. They can use the spaces on campus. We have an open learning commons instead of a library where they can go and study and collaborate. They can go meet with teachers, they can hang out with friends and take a nap in the middle of the day as teenagers sometimes like to do.”

You’ll want to watch this very compelling educator discussion. The concepts that Mountain House High School are using may be a glimpse into the future of public education. It’s a redesign of time and space, and the students are thriving.


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