When learning is Personalized and Relevant, students will be Engaged and prepared for Postsecondary success. This is the theory of action behind PREP, an innovative, holistic approach to learning designed by educators in Portland Public Schools’ alternative high schools. PREP schools integrate project-based instruction with career connected learning experiences and social emotional support to remove barriers for underserved students and create enlivening learning opportunities for all students.
Aligned with our district’s vision, PREP’s ultimate goal is for all students to graduate from high school as compassionate critical thinkers, able to collaborate and solve problems and prepared to lead a more socially just world.
PREP is based in PPS' Multiple Pathways to Graduation Department and is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education’s Education Innovation and Research (EIR) program through a multi-year grant awarded in October, 2017.
“What will you plant today to grow our collective humanity and justice efforts?” PREP is fortunate to partner this spring with Dr. Dena Simmons to help us answer that question. A leading voice in equity and social emotional learning, Dr. Simmons is the founder of LiberatED, a collective focused on the intersection of SEL, racial justice, and healing. Former Assistant Director of the Yale University Center for Emotional Intelligence, she has trained educators from across the United States and shares her expertise through publications, TED Talks, expert panels, and in high impact policy forums including the Obama White House and the United Nations. Dr. Simmons implores us to work against the kind of SEL implementation that can harm BIPOC, LGBTQ, and other marginalized students and reminds us that without context and a lens of anti-racism, SEL can become “white supremacy with a hug.”
Check out these articles to learn more
Why SEL Alone Isn’t Enough (March 2021, Education Leadership)
Is Social Emotional Learning Really Going to Work for Students of Color (June 2017, Education Leadership)
And watch for Dr. Simmons’ forthcoming book, White Rules for Black People (St. Martin’s Press, 2022)