PPS Board Approval of the Cooperation agreement between PPS and Center for Black Excellence (CBE)
The PPS Board adopted a resolution that read in part: "The vision of the CBSE is one of collaboration, among Black-led community organizations and PPS ... working together to advance a culture of Black excellence, unify, and elevate the Black educational experience, and improve outcomes for Black students, families, and educators."
Research: Phase I
The district’s Innovation Studio launched preliminary design research with students, staff, and families to understand the current experiences in our schools. This phase involved activities aimed at building relationships, healing, exploring up to the project, and needs finding.
The Innovation Studio held a kickoff gathering at the Prophet Education Center for members of the CBSE working groups. This gathering served as the first interaction with peers as the project moved into the design phase.
November 4 - 5
Through a set of curated activities, the Guiding Coalition performed a needs analysis, visioned towards the future, and became acquainted with the overall design process. The group explored the origins process. The group explored the origins behind the project, discussed what current research says about the condition of Black students and families, participated in collective storytelling, and established guiding principles for the project.
December 2022 - February 2023
The second phase of the work involved Inspiration and Ideation. Drawing from both local and national exemplars of Black excellence, an array of community organizations, Black community leaders, students, educators, and Portland residents learned from others to inform what could be possible for Portland’s CBSE. Importantly, PPS students and recent graduates shared their aspirations and experiences within the district – crucial input for the design of the CBSE.
The Guiding Coalition built on the initial work from Fall 2022 to understand the origins and research basis for the project, and focused squarely on student voice. During this gathering, the Guiding Coalition leaned on art, design fiction, multimedia and primary source documents to begin generating creative solutions to the challenges identified during the first session. This served as the first opportunity to begin defining a CBSE brand identity.
The Guiding Coalition established foundational knowledge in how to read space, shared ideas about the physical design of the CBSE and contemplated how the CBSE infrastructure might coexist alongside current PPS facilities. In addition, the group raised and prioritized the programmatic needs of the CBSE both in schools and within the new infrastructure. To further develop the brand identity, the group studied the efficacy of how students currently receive messaging.
March - April
During the prototype and testing phase, community members began to see the emergence of vision and strategies – while and refining early assumptions. These stakeholder-specific engagements elicited discussions about safety, educator beliefs, the family’s role, special education, immigrant and refugee experiences, identity, belonging, engaging elders, career pathways, the role of faith based communities, partnership and collaboration.
During the final session, the Guiding Coalition spotlighted parent and caregiver voices and student gifts and talents. The group mapped system level barriers to mitigate against, and collectively reviewed and refined all of the work to date
April 1 - 30
The final phase of the design process involved staff interviews to understand the implication of the emerging CBSE on the system at large with the goal of submitting final recommendations to the Portland School Board to vote on by May 23rd, 2023.