Shawn Loescher, EdD was featured in the new #TEDEdChat format launched on Wednesday, January 27th at 10 AM EST. The interview focused on redesigning schools for more equitable outcomes. Loescher was joined by an international panel including district, school, and classroom leaders.
Schools dedicated to equitable student outcomes take extra steps to ensure that goals are applicable and accessible to all students, allowing for variance as the students themselves vary. The intent is to equip every student for success in postsecondary and career pathways.
Founded in 2008, Urban Discovery Schools (UDS) are international award-winning free public schools serving grades TK - 12th in the heart of San Diego's downtown I.D.E.A. District. With two campuses, UDS is a thought leader in educational innovation and design thinking. The school attracts students from a broad socio-economic cross-section, spanning a 75-mile radius from northern San Diego County to the border of Tijuana.
"Our commitment to equitable outcomes guides our priorities," CEO Shawn Loescher, EdD says. "Simply put, a one-size-fits-all model of education shortchanges everyone. A more dynamic, responsive approach gives all students the best chance at academic and social-emotional success."
Urban Discovery's pandemic plan is a tangible example of this and has been recognized nationally for its effectiveness. At all levels, teachers and administrators sought to deepen the connection with students and their families in ways that support accessibility and community. In some cases, this involved providing student workstations, complete with Wi-Fi hotspots, computers and school supplies.
"Success for each student and family means different things," Loescher says. "We remain observant and willing to explore and adapt our approach with the success of each student being our urgent objective."
Urban Discovery's progress in this area has not gone unnoticed. Recently the Canopy Project, a collaborative initiative led by the Christensen Institute and the educational nonprofit Transcend, named UDS among the 144 most innovative school systems in the world.
The internationally renowned TED (Technology - Entertainment - Design) organization recognized Dr. Loescher as one of the top 16 worldwide choices for the TEDEd Innovative Educators of 2019-2020. He shared key findings of the transformational educational work on Silver Linings for Education, a joint project of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Arizona State University and the SAGE Research Publication ECNU Review of Education.
Urban Discovery is accepting applications for TK-12th grade for the 2021-22 school year through February 28, 2021. Students may apply online at UrbanSD.com.
URBAN DISCOVERY SCHOOLS (UDS) are internationally award-winning free public schools serving T/K-12th grade in the heart of San Diego's I.D.E.A. District and Education Corridor. With two locations, Urban Discovery Academy (T/K-6th) and Urban Discovery High School (7th-12th), UDS is a thought leader in educational innovations that are being implemented throughout the world.