This is a sketch of a young girl standing on a pair of supportive hands all superimposed on an artistic rendering of a playground

Friday, October 2, 2020 - 1:09  pm

CSCS principal Jill Gurtner recently wrote an article for Education Week as part of an opinion project entitled, How Students Find Strength.

Gurtner's piece, A Back-to School Plan Build Around Student Connection, was one of five in the series. All of the articles are available on the Education Week website. They were posted online on Sept. 9.

"We know that there is much we won't be able to control this coming school year,'' Gurtner wrote at the start of her piece. "We also know that this is the world we are being called to help prepare our young people to enter. We should be equipping them to build a more sustainable future, one where the decisions we make now recognize the value of living beings for many generations to come. To do so, we must give our students the safety to connect with each other and their learning communities — even if they must do so online.''

Gurtner has been an administrator in the District for more than 25 years. She was also a high school science teacher.

CSCS was recognized as a School of Opportunity by the National Education Policy Center in 2019. CSCS achieved gold status and was one of just seven schools in the United States recognized.

"By focusing on connections to make the learning environment 'safe enough' for every learner to engage in the productive struggle of learning, we are honoring that the deepest learning is rooted in real-world challenges,'' Gurtner wrote to close the article. "But we must also remember that it is joy and a sense of belonging that fuel that productive struggle. Every school community must foster that safety to allow for the risk of learning and growth. I am not sure there is anything more valuable that we can model for our young people.''

Gurtner and 2020 CSCS graduate Matthew Thompson also discussed in a 3-minute video how to encourage students in the productive struggle of learning: