Imaginarium: Denver Public Schools Innovation Lab
DSST: Green Valley Ranch HS Denver, CO
Tessa took the stage of the Denver Public Schools Imaginarium Innovation Lab’s Design Challenge in February of 2016. She shared the story of Mr. Quirk and pitched an idea to launch an ASSET Summer Institute—training several teachers throughout the district in the tools Mr. Quirk brought to her high school.
The pitch was hit—Tessa won the Design Challenge, became an innovator of the Imaginarium, was equipped with $9,000 to launch the ASSET Summer Institute.
North High School Denver, CO
How DSST: GVR Became An ASSET School:
In the spring of 2015, two educators from DSST: GVR saw Tessa pitch the idea for ASSET at an event hosted by her university. They recognized a need for these tools at their schools and connected ASSET to Brent Modak. Brent and Tessa piloted the tools in Brent’s study skills elective, but quickly recognized that the tools belonged as part of core academic content. Brent and his co-teacher, Nick, then implemented the tools in their 11th Grade U.S. History classes—immediately they saw a shift in their classroom engagement and their students began asking for more tools. They then grew ASSET to be included in at least one academic class in all 9th-11th grades.
Denver School of Innovation and Sustainable Design
How North Became A Partner School:
In 2016, we launched our first-ever ASSET summer institute. We brought together 9 educators from throughout Denver. One of those educators happened to Beth Lakin, an 11th grade Language Arts teacher at North High School. Beth quickly became an asset to ASSET as she piloted our first iteration of the curriculum with her AP Language Arts class. In Beth’s initial pilot, 100% of her students reported using the tools outside of class. 50% reduced their self-perceived stress and 66% increased their mindfulness. The following year, North implemented ASSET in freshmen seminar classes and all 11th grade English classes. This academic year, North implements ASSET in the majority of English classes as well as several Science, Math, and PE classes. The ASSET team at North High School self-selected to implement the curriculum once per week as part of their content classes.
At DSISD, ASSET began in college counseling class that met with all students twice-a-month. Tessa and the guidance counselor at DSISD, Martha, quickly agreed that ASSET belonged where it was designed for: the academic class setting. The college counseling class met infrequently and to have the greatest impact, students needed to be learning these tools once-a-week.