Praha manana!

For those of you that don’t speak both Czech and Spanish, let me translate: Prague tomorrow!

That’s right, tomorrow, I will be leaving for a 17 day adventure where it is hoped that we will bike from Prague to Vienna.  If you think that this means, though, that Schooba goes on hold, you are most certainly mistaken.  I’ll be traveling with my great friend, roommate, travel buddy, colleague, Math Consultant, Director of Advocating the Devil, and newly appointed Hevruta Board Member, Alex.  Whether he likes it or not, we will talk about Schooba.  I have just put together, in fact, our first text to be discussed in our first Hevruta session abroad.  (For more information on the Hevruta Method of learning, please visit this post.)

Preface to “the text”: For the past few weeks, I have been formulating The Schooba Academy’s mission, goals, “theory of change”, and methods of assessment.  In the spirit of Hevruta, I challenge anyone to help me make this stronger.

The text

Tentative Mission Statement, Goals, “Theory of Change”, and Methods of Assessment


To academically and experientially enrich the lives of at risk NYC youth through working with a partner to learn how to SCUBA dive.


– To teach students from low-income communities how to SCUBA dive and the science behind it

– To facilitate a working relationship where each member is supported and challenged

– to stimulate long term (at least one year) improvement in the student’s presence in science class

– to have students from low-income communities try something new

– to provide a fun learning experience for students from low-income communities

Theory of change, i.e. intervention/educational philosophy/how I will do this:

– by providing a clear relevancy for why the material should be learned

– by providing a hands-on, inquiry based, interdisciplinary approach to learning

– by providing each student with a partner chosen to meet their needs

– by using the Hevruta method for learning with a partner

– by having an adaptable and differentiated curriculum designed to meet the needs of every student

– by having an alumni network for keeping connected after the program

How will I measure the volume of my work?:

– # of students

– # of schools

– # of collaborating classroom teachers

How will I measure the quality of my work?

– the percentage of students passing the SCUBA and CPR certification tests

– the percentage of students reporting a significant improvement in science class (to be determined by their science teacher)

– the self-assessment of the student

– attendance


5 Responses to “Praha manana!”

  1. 1 yosh August 3, 2010 at 9:44 am

    why did you decide to only target at-risk students? previously, you were still undecided as per your conversations with your mentor, Dan.

    • 2 Zach Rome August 3, 2010 at 11:55 am

      Great question, Yoshi! So, the aim has always been to focus on “at risk” students. What I am uncertain with, however, is whether or not the program will deal exclusively with these kids. I feel that having a diversity of students involved in the program would be a great thing for the healthy development of “at risk” students. On the other hand, it means that I get to work with less students who really need the program. (Just two of many examples for the advantages and disadvantages of each model.) So, I guess what I am trying to figure out now is what is the best model that is feasible. Make sense?

      • 3 Zach Rome August 3, 2010 at 12:09 pm

        Ok, so i just re-read my posting about my first meeting with Dan. I see the confusion. As I mentioned in the posting, I had always just assumed I would work with “at risk” kids. When Dan questioned me if I was open to anything else, I did have to think about that. I guess I was just considering the endless possibilities of the program. But, I quickly realized that the aim for me – whether I was clear about it or not – was that the program would be about the students that need it the most.

  2. 4 yosh August 3, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    makes sense. probably easier to target a small group at once with the option to expand in the future rather than the other way around.

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