February 2014 Monthly Newsletter

"Envision schools have spent the last decade innovating research-based performance assessments that are tremendous learning opportunities for students, teachers and community, with data that tracks Envision students' success rate through college.  The rigorous, shared rubrics that support teacher decision-making, and provide the foundation for student portfolio defenses, are invaluable tools that new sch ools and school districts can learn from and apply in order to prepare students for success on the new Smarter Balanced Assessments." - Louise Music (Executive Director of the Department of Integrated Learning for ACOE)
Together We are Better:
Bay Area Performance Network (BAPAN)

The shift to the Common Core and more represents a change of tremendous magnitude with the potential to transform teaching and learning.  Making this shift requires high levels of leadership and learning at all levels.   How ready are we? How can we work together to leverage our collective assets?


Leading the Way

The Bay Area Performance Assessment Network (BAPAN) is a partnership between the Alameda County Office of Education (ACOE) and Envision Learning Partners (ELP) to grow a network of schools and districts in Region 4 to lead the way in the design, implementation, and demonstration of the Deeper Learning Student Assessment System (DLSAS).


Thanks to a generous grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, 9 Bay Area schools and 1 district, selected through an application process, have had the opportunity to partner with ELP to design and implement arts-integrated performance assessment systems:   
  • Arise High School
  • Berkeley High School (Arts and Humanities Academy)

  • Castro Valley High School 
  • Community School for Creative Education

  • James Madison Elementary School

  • North Oakland Community Charter School

  • Oakland Unified School District

  • Peralta Elementary School

  • San Rafael High School (Banyan) 

Creating a Network

A newly-formed BAPAN Advisory Council was established in fall 2013 in an effort to network BAPAN leaders and Bay Area arts leaders.  The role of advisory council is to vision and provide input into the design of the future of BAPAN beyond the grant-funded period.  If you are interested in participating in the BAPAN Advisory Council, please email Sally Kingston at 


Leveraging Leadership

When school and district leaders are prepared how to lead changes, like the Common Core and more, it is a big win for teachers and students.  Effective implementation can make or break any change, and a strong network of leaders who are learning together can make all of the difference. That is why the Bay Area Performance Network (BAPAN) will be launching a BAPAN Leadership Network in spring 2014 to support school leaders in learning and leading together.  By sharing what works, leaders will have the opportunity to acquire knowledge, learn skills, and gain new insights. If you are a school leader interested in participating in the BAPAN Leadership Network, email ELP executive director at  Look for more information in the March 2014 Edition of Reflections (ELP's Monthly E-Newsletter).    


Leading & Learning Together

We are interested in learning what you most need to lead the change to the Common Core and more most effectively.   We'd appreciate you taking 5 minutes to complete this survey: Together we are Better: Leading the Common Core and More. We will use survey results to design the BAPAN Leadership Network. Please feel free to share this survey with your colleagues and friends.  

"Being a site administrator of a single charter school that is not attached to a CMO is a very lonely pursuit. It is invaluable to be able to connect to peers who are tackling the same issues and share obstacles and successes. In order to be effective, we need to learn from what other's are doing and not waste time reinventing the wheel!"  - Becky Westbrook (Principal, Community School for Creative Education)

What's Happening in Envision Learning Partners?   

Congratulations to Denise Espania, ELP regional director of Hawaii and the Pacific Northwest, who recently accepted the position of founding principal of Mālma Honua Learning Center (MHLC) Charter School in Waimānalo, Hawaiʻi. MHLC Charter Schoolʻs mission is to provide an education that integrates the 21st Hawaiian values that cultivate the caring, compassionate, and astute "mind of the navigator" in students and teachers alike. While providing an exemplary place-based and project-based education for students from kindergarten through 2nd grade, expanding a grade level each year, MHLC will also serve as a "research school" that houses an embedded professional development institute.


Denise is returning to her home state with her husband Val and her two boys, Adonis (11) and Apollo (10).  We are thrilled to have Denise on board part-time until June 2014. She will continue to work with the School for Examining Essential Questions of Sustainability (SEEQS), Ka Waihona O Ka Naʻauao Charter School, and Kupu Hou Academy with Mid-Pacific Institute through June 2014.  


Mahalo Denise for all of your great work!

Learning Opportunities 
Join us this May for our Defense Design Studios and Kupu Hou Academy.  Click the images below to register and find out more detailed information. Space is limited.

Defense Design Studio                Kupu Hou Academy

Visit Envision Schools!

Come see Envision Schools in action. Email Emily Leach at to set up your visit. 

Note: Spring Break dates are below and the schools are on vacation.

City Arts and Tech: 4/1-4/4
Envision Academy: 4/14-4/18
Impact Academy: 4/14-18
In This Issue

What is the Deeper Learning Student Assessment System?  

Based on Envision's performance assessment system, the DLSAS is designed to enable all students to master core academic disciplines and deeper learning skills(also known as 21st century performance assessments). The DLSAS includes a graduate profile, performance assessments, and rubrics validated by the Stanford Center for Assessment Leadership and Equity (SCALE), which are aligned to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and include deeper learning skills: (1) master core content, (2) think critically and solve complex problems, (3) work collaboratively, (4) communicate effectively, (5) learn how to learn, and (6) develop academic mindsets. 

Tools and Resources

Quick Links
Partnering for Success 

Inspire: Capture and share student and teacher success! Email your stories, photos and videos and we will share them in a future newsletter.  Email Rachel Maida, program manager,  

Inform: Learn more about Envision Learning Partners (ELP) and partnership opportunities. Contact Rachel Maida, program manager,

Involve: Participate in Envision Learning Partners (ELP) events. To be on ELP's mailing list, contact Rachel Maida, program manager,

Influence: Spread the word about Envision Learning Partners. Forward this newsletter to colleagues and friends. Encourage them to sign up at

Invest: Interested in investing in Envision Education? Contact Kate Schwass, director of development,    

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