Field Trip: Design Thinking at Halifax County High School
“If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.” That decidedly was not the refrain when teachers, staff, students and administration at Halifax County High School set out on a journey to re-imagine their school using design thinking.
They weren’t facing glaring problems of practice. Rather, they looked at their 21st century world and asked the question, “How can we better equip our students for life in today’s world?” Then, they set out to collect input from all involved parties, and put ideas into action.
In this interview with principal Michael Lewis and Dr. Karen Sanzo from Old Dominion University, we explore what design thinking looks like in the education world, and the exciting outcomes that can result. We talk about building a team, getting teacher buy-in, empathy research and collecting input from students. And we find out what they’ve learned through the process.
Looking for More?
You might also enjoy our interview with Janene Gorham, Ed.D., Director of Professional Growth & Innovation at Virginia Beach City Public Schools, as she describes how VBCPS used design thinking to empower teachers to implement personalized learning in the classroom.
Also be sure to check out Frontline Education’s resource library, chock-full of eBooks, guides, videos, infographics and white papers, designed to help school and district leaders recruit, hire, develop and retain highly-qualified educators.
Today on Field Trip, our story is from Virginia. Using design thinking, Halifax County High School has been making some big changes.
KAREN SANZO: So often when we are engaged in change initiatives, we like to create solutions without going to the actual person or people that were creating solutions for. With design thinking, it’s a human-centered process. So that means our students, our teachers, our community is at the core of this process.
We’re taking a look at how they’re empowering teachers, students and their community to put ideas into action.
MICHAEL LEWIS: Teachers have the answers, they know what will make a school run. They just need a place to use their voice and work together so that they can collectively make change.
Students will tell you exactly what they need and most oftentimes, they’re the most creative people in the building. It’s our job to give them an outlet for voice and listen to them.
It’s the podcast for leaders in K12 education. I’m Ryan Estes, and from Frontline Education, you’re listening to Field Trip.
We are here today with Dr. Karen Sanzo, who is a professor of educational leadership at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia and with Michael Lewis who is the principal at Halifax County High School in South Boston, Virginia. Karen and Michael, thank you both for being with me today.
MICHAEL LEWIS: Certainly. My pleasure to be a part of this, and thank you for inviting us.
KAREN SANZO: Yeah, thank you.
Halifax County High School has been on a journey to re-imagine how they do things. Michael had a conversation with the superintendent, and said, “You know, we’d like to explore making some changes in our school division,” and the superintendent connected him with Karen, who brought some outside expertise to the table.
I said to Michael and Karen that it’s interesting that they chose that word, “re-imagine,” to describe what they’re doing. And I asked them what was important about that word?
KAREN SANZO: For me personally, I think it provides us a way of exploring how to redesign your school in a way that is potentially comprehensively different from the way that it’s been run for decades. You know, our whole school system is based on an agrarian model that is a century or more old, and this takes us out of that mindset and opens the door for possibilities with our school. Whether you are having an entire new building built or you’re working within the existing structure to reimagine, I think for me also, it sparks creativity with teachers. It just opens the door to so many different possibilities rather than school turnaround, because that assumes that you’re existing almost with the same exact model and you’re just tweaking around the edges. This essentially opens the door to an entirely new way of practicing what you do within your school.
MICHAEL LEWIS: I think for me, and I say this a lot, we want to set our sights above the ceiling, or really high. So you using that term allows our teachers, in this case and part of our innovation team, to really imagine anything could be possible at Halifax County High School and not stick to what the known is. It’s breaking the mold. And I think Karen talked about breaking the mold of the 100 year old model. I think it’s important that we imagine what is possible and set our sights way out there and instead of just reviewing the things we’ve been doing. Of course, that is part of the process, too. We want to review where we’re at, but we also want to set our sights really high, and of course I tell our team all the time we want to be the best high school around. In order to do that, we’ve got to set our sights above what the known is, so we’ve got to really imagine and reimagine our high school as it could be, and not as it has been.
One thing that played an important role in this work, Michael and Karen said, was the idea of design thinking. That’s a concept that we hear a lot about in education, but I asked Karen to define it for us: what does design thinking look like in a process like this?
KAREN SANZO: Yeah, that’s a great question. So what I want to say first is, for me, design thinking really isn’t something that’s new, even though it’s gained popularity within the past several years, thanks to a lot of wonderful, many organizations. But design thinking essentially allows us in our schools, whether you are thinking about a lesson plan or how you collaborate with colleagues, or thinking about your classroom design with the furniture and structure, or from an entire school with a comprehensive redesign. This allows you to understand your stakeholders. So often when we are engaged in change initiatives, we like to create solutions without going to the actual person or people that we’re creating solutions for. So with design thinking, it’s a human centered process, so that means our students, our teachers, our community is at the core of this process. Nothing is done without talking to all of those, and we call them users or stakeholders. And what we also try to do is to bring them into this change process itself. So for me and for Halifax, we are able to put students, teachers, and community at the core of everything that we do and ask them to help us drive those decisions for change.
Michael said that at first, design thinking was quite a shift from what the staff was used to.
MICHAEL LEWIS: Typically we’re used to being problem solvers. I mean, teachers solve problems every minute, every day. So for them, using a process to get answers was somewhat difficult in the beginning, but as they began to use the process more, they found that great answers can be found by doing some research, by seeing what’s out there, by doing site visits and things like that. So for me it was eye opening to sit back and look what all the possibilities were. You know, as a principal, of course I saw problems too, but being able to sit back and take your time and actually study something.
In one case we studied our attendance policy. We had been using a policy for a number of years. It had a time for time philosophy. So if you missed time, you had to make time up. Well, I’ve been told for a number of years, I’ve been here eight years, that it’s not working. So throughout this process, the teachers developed another policy that eliminated the time for time. They studied it and they implemented a reward policy, basically, for students to get incentives if they come to school. And right now it’s being very effective. We’re just giving out $5 gift cards to Bojangles and we have students who are coming to school just to receive these small incentives. Of course, this was a teacher-developed policy, you know, that I’ll be honest, I was somewhat reluctant to… I didn’t believe initially that it would work, but now after seeing it in place, and trusting in the folks that have been here for years, our stakeholders, our teachers are all folks that are in the trenches. They have great ideas.
Karen, I wonder if you could also speak to this idea, giving a few different concrete examples of using design thinking as you work with school districts.
KAREN SANZO: Sure. So when I think about the work, and I’m going to speak about Halifax, it really is a process of helping people who have spent, oftentimes, a number of years within the same school or the same school district, and allowing them to see possibilities outside of where they typically work. There are lots of terrific solutions already in place in Virginia and across the country that are addressing vexing problems of practice in schools. So for example, we took a site visit to a couple of high schools in Virginia Beach, and it was powerful for the Halifax teachers to be onsite at these two different high schools who were extremely giving of their time. They had a wonderful site visit plan for us. And through that journey the teachers came back and were able to implement some strategies almost automatically. So for example, at Halifax, they had something I think called Flight Time where students were able to get some additional tutoring, or pulled out for different types of support or enrichment. But they really wanted to reimagine what that Flight Time could look like.
And so when they visited a high school in Virginia Beach, they saw this club day experience. They came back to Halifax, they comprehensively redesigned what this club day could look like, and students were able to select areas of interest. And this was such a well-received initiative. They are continuing to do it at the high school there again, they’re going to launch it in the spring. So those students who may need some additional tutoring and support can have that, but students who are interested in cosmetology can go and have 11 or 12 opportunities throughout the spring to learn more about cosmetology. Or who may want to play basketball or who may want to go into some of the more CTE areas just to learn about that. And so being able to see what’s happening in practice, having those tangible experiences, is very powerful for educators.
This whole process didn’t begin because of glaring problems of practice, Michael said. Instead, he saw people having a lot of great ideas for solving some of the issues the school faced, and wanted to give those people a voice.
MICHAEL LEWIS: Every high school has challenges. Every school has challenges, this gives us an opportunity to meet and talk about those challenges and develop programs and change things for our students. I mean, we’ve done so many things that we probably could talk for several hours about it. But I’ve got groups working on policy and procedures, all the way to, “What are the next innovative classes we may bring in?” So it’s a process. It’s very open and from the get go we told them, “We want you to imagine things, we want you to shoot for the ceiling and we don’t want to set our sights low at all.” So yes, every school has challenges, but this was a way to internally solve some of our challenges, and of course move our high school forward as we redesign what we’re doing.
KAREN SANZO: And I was just going to jump in and to say what I see with Halifax is not so much of the challenge either. It’s that it’s a wonderful opportunity. In Virginia, several years ago, they rolled out, and I actually can’t remember how many years now, but it’s a profile of a graduate. So thinking about, “What do we want our students to be able to know, to be able to do, when they go out into the world, when they graduate from high school?” So it’s a wonderful opportunity to launch this design journey to reimagine this possibility.
At Halifax and other schools in Virginia, they really are at this place of opportunity to reimagine how they run their schools, how schools are conceived, and it’s great to have this impetus from the state that provides you this space to rethink how you might run your schools.
MICHAEL LEWIS: Initially we wanted to know, “How can we make sure our students are successful in college and all the workforce and be life ready?” These are some questions we had. Of course within that, the economy’s changing, the world is characterized by rapid change today. So how do we better prepare our students to face the challenges of today’s world?
So really we went into this, or I did, with a very open mind. I didn’t have an agenda, so to speak. You know, obviously as principal there are different directions and things you want to go. But I left the agenda really wide open, so that the teachers really felt invested in it and empowered by it. We literally asked them from day one, “What do you want to look into, what are some things you want to do?” And of course there were some policies they wanted to talk about, they wanted to look into teacher morale and we’ve done that. From there, I mean it’s gone on and we have a group working on safety, we have a group working on, “Do we change back to a traditional schedule or stay with four by four scheduling?”
MICHAEL LEWIS: So we’re going a lot of different directions. We brought in some new classes from this, and of course Karen mentioned earlier, some were on-site visits, we visited schools in Virginia Beach, but we also have visited schools similar to our makeup. From that we brought in some new classes. So for me it was not so much about a top down agenda as it was, “What do you guys see we need to work on? Where can we go with these things in mind? How do we make sure our students are successful in college and all the work force, and how do we make sure they’re life ready for an ever-changing world?” So we pose that question, and literally our staff has driven the agenda for the most part.
The team that you were working with, this team of faculty, tell me about that team. How did you choose the people who would be a part of it? And were you simply looking for representation across departments, or were there specific characteristics of people that made you say, “Hey, we really want you to be a part of this?” What went into your decision process there?
MICHAEL LEWIS: Yeah, that’s a great question. Actually, none of those. I believe in the power of choice, so I sent an email to the entire faculty and I said, “Anyone who’s interested in being part of this team, send me an email.” So they chose themselves. And interestingly enough, we were able to keep every single person who volunteered because it was about a fourth of our staff, so it worked out perfectly, so we didn’t have to turn anyone away. And of course in that group, we’re very fortunate also, it was a good spread of folks. So we had people from different departments and different areas of the building. Within that group we had some people who were really, really interested in different topics too. So that helped some as well.
You mentioned the idea of learning from students and allowing students to have a voice into this inquiry process. What did that look like? How did you go about collecting student input to what you were doing?
MICHAEL LEWIS: Yeah, I think that’s something we’re still working on it. We developed a new leadership class out of this innovation process. And we’ve really leaned on those students to give us information at this point. Most of those meetings have taken place out of me going to their class and talking to them and just getting some ideas. Most recently we had them join our innovation team for about 30 minutes and opened the floor up for them to talk to teachers. We had students and teachers at round tables in the library. I had a lot of positive feedback from both sides on that, you know, students will tell you exactly what they need and most oftentimes, they’re the most creative people in the building. It’s our job to give them an outlet for voice and listen to them.
Step one for us was getting this leadership class in place. I think next steps are getting them around the table more often and giving them a voice on a weekly to monthly basis. And of course having them help us control the school climate. Now where do we go? What do we need to do? How do we make school more inviting for students? What opportunities do you need? What classes do you want? I think, again, the opportunities are endless and of course I think students, they dream big. If you talk to students, most often times they dream very big, and that’s what you need when you’re talking about reimagining the high school. You want to dream big.
KAREN SANZO: Ryan, can I add to that a little bit? So when you look at the design thinking journey, there are, I would say, five different steps, although to say ‘steps’ is wrong because design thinking is really quite a messy process, and it’s extremely nonlinear. So you’re always coming back to different parts of the process. But where we start in design thinking is this empathy phase, where you’re learning about your stakeholders. And when Michael brought the teams together, the first part was, I gave a general overview of what design thinking is. It was a design thinking institute, essentially. And part of that is to learn how to go about this customer inquiry component. So how do we take these questions? How might we reimagine Halifax County High School? And then drilling down to the specific areas that the team had identified, and from that creating observation protocol and interview protocols, so that we can really learn from our stakeholders.
The teachers at Halifax were incredibly insightful in the types of questions they were asking to learn from their stakeholders. So they went to the students, they also went to the community. But if you’re looking specifically about students, having those conversations – and these aren’t lengthy interviews. These were those anecdotal, informal interviews that you can have as students are coming into school, or having lunchtime conversations or classroom conversations about different parts of this reimagination, of this reimagining journey.
And then from there, we brought that information back in this design phase, where we’re defining what our stakeholders are looking for. So both the high level themes, but also some of those other voices that you might not have picked up through this empathy process. And so from there, that’s also how we use their voices to create those types of experiences such as that leadership class, which has been absolutely phenomenal. And one thing that Michael didn’t mention is these students from that leadership class went to the state capitol to speak to legislators in Richmond, and this was all generated from this design thinking process that Halifax has taken.
What kinds of questions were you asking at this point in time, or was the team asking, of the students and of other stakeholders?
KAREN SANZO: I think what Michael was mentioning there is, it’s just as simple as, “What are things you’d like to see different here at Halifax? What are classes that you wish that you could have?” When the students came into the innovation team meeting a week or two ago, I know Michael was asking, “So you have friends at other schools. What types of classes are they having that you’d like to see here? What experiences are you having? How is technology being used as an instructional tool in your classroom?” So both high level questions but very targeted and specific ones, too, related to instruction and pedagogy.
So “empathize” — that is, really understanding your stakeholders and collecting information from them — is the first step of the design thinking process. And it goes on from there.
KAREN SANZO: The second is “define.” The third is “ideate,” where you take those conversations and you theme them out. And then the next is “prototyping.” So how do you create? And in this case in education, how do you create these change initiatives that are going to help propel your organization forward? And then the last one is to test out these initiatives. And so the idea is that you’re testing these out in short cycle opportunities, so that you’re learning and you’re feeding back those experiences, and you can refine the prototype. One of the other pieces that I’ve done with the team that I think is important when you think about this design thinking process – and you don’t see it as much in the literature – is coupling design thinking with continuous improvement. And what Halifax has done and what we’ve done collectively, is to overlay an improvement science model on top of this design thinking process.
So design thinking really unleashes creativity and potential, but we have to be careful that we’re also continuously measuring the efficacy of those efforts and feeding back that data into this process, and refining whatever those change initiatives are. So for example, with the leadership class, making sure that we are continuously evaluating those experiences, talking to the students, looking at the learner outcomes, so when that course is taught again, and if it’s spread throughout the school, how do we take those lessons and make sure that this is the most powerful class and it serves as a model for other schools in the state? Because it really is a powerful class right now.
I appreciated what you said about design thinking being a messy process and I’m guessing that what that means is, there’s not a standard roadmap to follow apart from these five steps. Is that correct? Are you essentially building the plane as you’re flying it a little bit?
KAREN SANZO: I think you have to. Yeah, that’s a good analogy, and you have to be okay with that messiness and that you are building the plane as you’re flying it. You cannot take a prepackaged structure and overlay it into any school, because context absolutely matters in this process.
I asked Michael to tell me about one area they’ve been working on that stands out to him. And he mentioned the additional classes they began offering. They revived a Teachers for Tomorrow class, with 17 teacher cadets who received paraprofessional licenses, including one student who works half days at an elementary school as an ELL instructor.
MICHAEL LEWIS: We’ve also had added some humanities courses where we’ve combined English and history, specifically English 11 and Virginia and US history, and then in the twelfth grade, English 12 and Government. So those are AP dual enrolled classes that we’re now piloting and offering here at the school, based on this process.
KAREN SANZO: I mean, I think for me in part, that those extra classes were almost a wonderful unintentional consequence of the messy design thinking journey. And I think, what I want to say is, I think it’s a tribute to Michael as a principal and the teachers at the school with their faith, not only in the process but I think even more importantly, their faith in themselves, because part of what we did with the site visits… So I’ll back up. We went through the design thinking process with the empathy and specifically thinking about, “What do we want to see as we go on these site visits at analogous high schools?” So what are some high schools that are similar to us? Or perhaps even a little bit different from us, which is important as well, and what do we want to see?”
KAREN SANZO: So we want to see classes, we want to see how these classes can possibly be taught collectively. We want to see different types of courses from what we normally teach here at Halifax County, and thinking about, what are the questions we want to ask those individuals, the teachers and the administrators as they went through this process?
So for example, at Kellam High School in Virginia Beach, it really was, “How did you go about developing a strategic planning process to undertake this comprehensive school redesign?” And they were very giving, showing us this three year process that was mapped out for the strategic plan, that you can’t do everything at once. Talking us through, “How do you reimagine courses? And then how do you deploy these courses in a thoughtful way that doesn’t overwhelm, collectively, the staff?” And you can get buy in from your faculty, your community and your students.
And so when Halifax went on these site visits, it’s the teachers themselves that came back with this energy and enthusiasm of seeing these classes that they didn’t have at their school, and they went to Michael after the site visits to say that they wanted to implement these different courses, and Michael can speak to the conversations that took place between the teachers and him and the administration, but essentially it was, “Okay, go forth and design this and let’s see how it rolls out.”
And with the leadership class in particular, that teacher is absolutely phenomenal. She has the energy, the passion, the enthusiasm to help these students become amazing leaders both at the high school and in the Halifax community. But it really was this messy process that… I couldn’t have predicted that this particular course would have been developed at the start of the design thinking journey. Absolutely no way. And it really was — this idea was sparked through those visits and seeing the possibilities that could happen in schools.
Michael, can you speak to those conversations between teachers? What did you observe being batted around and talked about?
MICHAEL LEWIS: I think looking back on the process, and I think Karen mentioned this earlier, a lot of our teachers actually went to school here. They went to college and came back here and taught. So for them, this was high school. What happens in Halifax County High School is what happens at every high school. Come to find out through their journeys and support from superintendent, being able to go to all these different schools, there’s more out there. So it was an eye opening experience for both them and myself. So I probably had the simplest job of all, all I had to do is agree to it. They came up with these ideas, saying, “I just want to dig into this. I want to try it. I think we can pull it off.” And for me it was just taking the risk, you know? “Yes. We’ll try it.”
Of course, the risk has reaped a lot of rewards at this point. So I think for me it was about putting folks out there who may have not had other experiences, including myself. I went to this school, I graduated here, went to college and came back. So my experience in high schools was limited pretty much to Halifax County High School. So the same thing for me, getting out and being able to visualize and talk to people and see what other folks are doing, was eye opening as well. So I think through observation, through talking to other teachers and educators across schools, we were able to bring some of these ideas to life.
It’s gone in a lot of different directions. And I think Karen was on to something when she said we didn’t start with the intention of adding any of these classes. And I think that was the power of having an open agenda and truly giving the reigns over to this team and allowing them to feel empowered and help make decisions that will make the school better. And you know that’s difficult for a principal, sometimes, to do that, to say, “Hey, here it is, let’s make it happen.” But truly in the end, I think it’s well worth it when you develop collective efficacy with your staff and everybody’s working towards common goals, you get a lot more done than if it’s top down. So part of the process for me was teachers being empowered, teachers feeling a part.
And truly, if you talk to them, which we have, we’ve interviewed several of them, they’ve outlined that is what they like best. They feel like they’re making a difference and they feel like their voice matters. We’ve talked to them about some of the challenges as well. And I thought one of the challenges was not a big problem. They said, “We need to do this more often!” So we’ve been able to meet more often and we’ve had some individual group databases as well as large group meetings. This process is messy, but it is very productive. And if you saw some of our drawings and some of our notes that were taken during some of these meetings, you would understand the messy side of it very well.
As you look at where you are in the process now and look at the results that you have gotten, where have you been able to observe the most dramatic impact at Halifax?
MICHAEL LEWIS: That’s a very weighty question. I think we’ve been able to impact our students because of this. There’s more opportunities for them. We’ve been able to impact our class offerings because of this, not only all academic, but we conducted a CTE audit, which led to bringing in some additional courses as well. So that’s your career and technical side. We were able to bring in landscaping, which is a high need area even here in Halifax County, and of course is one of the highest growing job offerings in the state of Virginia. I guess the largest impact for me is that we now have a staff that’s collectively working together to bring about powerful change in their school. And there again, this comes from my belief that teachers have the answers, they know what will make a school run. They just need a place to use their voice and work together, so that they can collectively make change.
Again, through all of this Karen served as an outside facilitator. I asked her why that was important? What did that bring to the process?
KAREN SANZO: So what I think having a facilitator in this type of process provides is, first, you have someone whose sole focus is the design thinking process and the journey itself, because administrators have so many different things going on in their day, and teachers as well. So to have that person on the outside sending emails, doing these check-ins, asking you, “What do you need and how can I support you?” Because as Michael said, the teachers and the administrators in Halifax are amazing, and we always talk about the answers in the room, that collectively as a group they will be able to find the right solutions to these opportunities to practice to move the high school forward. But what a facilitator does is, I’m able to come in and provide that structure to this messy process. I’m able to provide the technical support because of my background in doing this with other school districts, that I have the research background that can be coupled with the process, and also, I think too, the ability to connect the high school with not only other educational organizations in the state, but also being able to have that level of familiarity just from my reading and research with what’s happening nationally.
And again, I think you can tell by talking to Michael, he’s incredibly knowledgeable in all of these different areas, but to have somebody who has that sole focus of this with the organization is important. I think too when I talk with other educators about bringing in a facilitator, she or he provides what we talk about as third point. It’s not me, it’s not you, but I’m talking about this organization or this process that we can look at and talk about collectively. And I think sometimes having that external person who’s not so emotionally connected — although I will say now I’m very emotionally connected with Halifax — but to be able to have that balcony view as well, is critical.
What would you say, and this question is for both of you, what are your takeaways from all of this? What have you learned? If you were to go back to the beginning, what might you do differently? Or perhaps another way of asking that would be, if another school was just beginning this journey tomorrow, what words of wisdom might you have for them?
KAREN SANZO: Well, I think what I would say with Halifax is that Michael and the superintendent provided the teachers time and space to undertake this journey. So I would say what Halifax did correctly is what I see other people not doing — it’s that they want to move too fast in this process. And Michael was able to provide his teachers many months to go through the empathy process. And empathy is often rushed and you don’t learn from your stakeholders the way that you need to. So modeling what Halifax did in taking this four, five, six months empathy journey, which as you know in education, people don’t want to take that amount of time to begin a process, but if you start slow, you can then move fast, and I think that’s what you’re hearing Halifax doing, is they had the discretion of time and space, and now they’re able to move at a quicker pace.
MICHAEL LEWIS: Yeah, I just echo that. I think initially for myself and the teachers was breaking the mold of “let’s solve it today” because in education that’s a lot of times would folks want to do, they want to put a band-aid on it, “Let’s get it done. Let’s try this new initiative and start it today.” But I think you have to truly sit down and think about and study a process. And I think moving forward that that’s exactly what we intend to do even more of. And now that we have these things in place, let’s just not leave in place. Let’s make sure they’re actually working, let’s study them, let’s look at the data, let’s go back and make changes as necessary.
I think an important part of this process that I don’t think either of us mentioned is that innovation also can be taking things off the table. It doesn’t necessarily mean always adding. So we have taken some things completely off the table as well. And that’s part of being innovative, too, is being willing to say, “Hey, this is not working.”
Or, Michael said, even stopping programs that they were seeing results from, in order to put something even more effective into place. So for example, earlier Karen mentioned that Halifax re-designed Flight Time – the program where students were able to get additional tutoring or support. And it’s not that it wasn’t working – it was.
MICHAEL LEWIS: But did the downside to the enrichment program, Flight Time, was only certain students were able to participate, so they were being pulled from another class to go get enrichment in whatever area they need. So being willing to scrap Flight Time and bring in, we don’t have a name for it yet, we’re still working on that, bringing in an enrichment program where students have opportunity to get extra help in academic courses but also something they were interested in, and in some cases it might be fishing class or baseball or drama class. They were able to go too for these 30, 35 minutes, something they had a choice in. So they registered by choice and chose these classes. So some chose they needed precalculus tutoring, some chose, they needed SAT prep help. And of course some chose to do your other classes, culinary arts and these things like that. So being able to pull things off the table that were largely effective. I mean Flight Time had been proven statistically over a number of years to impact our standards of learning test scores, but being able to pull that back and incorporate it into a full enrichment program, is a very good example of being innovative and taking some away and bringing something even more effective in.
KAREN SANZO: You need to trust the process, and that comes with developing trust with your team and that comes with understanding that this design thinking process is a journey and that you can’t accomplish change overnight, and that educators like Michael who allow teachers and the schools and the districts to take time to accomplish that change will see demonstrably increased student achievement and efficacy of the process. But if you rush it, it’s not going to be as successful and that’s important.
Well, we have been speaking with Dr. Karen Sanzo of Old Dominion University and Michael Lewis, principle of Halifax County High School in Virginia. Karen and Michael, thank you both for your time today and the insights you’ve brought.
KAREN SANZO: Great. Thank you.
MICHAEL LEWIS: Thank you, sir.
Did you know new episodes of Field Trip are released every 2 weeks? Don’t miss a single one – you can subscribe at Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher or anywhere else you listen to podcasts.
Field Trip is a podcast from Frontline Education. Frontline’s industry-leading software is designed exclusively for K-12, and is built to help school systems recruit, hire, engage, develop and retain their employees. For more information, visit FrontlineEducation.com/FieldTripPodcast.
For Frontline Education, I’m Ryan Estes. Thanks for listening, and have a great day.