n June, 2017, the Edward E. Ford Foundation awarded Winchester Thurston School a $50,000 matching grant to host the newly created coLearn Conference at WT. The conference, scheduled for June 25-26, 2018, will provide guidance for educators from across the nation to discover the power of community-based learning.

“I spend a lot of my time connecting students, faculty, and community partners. We discuss authenticity and agency – the importance of students directing their own learning experiences, investigating questions that interest them, and finding the answers themselves,” notes City as Our Campus Director Adam Nye. The conference will allow educators to meet with WT faculty and City as Our Campus partners in hands-on sessions that will provide best practices, program implementation models, and methods of measuring impact. Participants will also gain access to a report conducted by a team of researchers from the University of Pittsburgh to document the program model and its impact on student learning and teacher practice.

Attendees will hear from internationally acclaimed speaker, author, and entrepreneur Will Richardson, a leading thinker about the intersection of social online learning networks and education. He has authored six books, including Freedom to Learn.

Tim Fish, Chief Innovation Officer at the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), will share insights from The Innovation Kitchen, NAIS’s space to foster and incubate ideas that address the most pressing challenges facing independent schools. As an early participant in The Kitchen, WT set a standard for independent school re-imagination. Fish’s insights will reinforce NAIS’s belief in the transformational change that is happening at WT.