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Diane Tavenner Books In Order

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Prepared: What Kids Need for a Fulfilled Life (2019)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Diane Tavenner is the CEO and founder of Summit Public Schools. This is a charter management organization that caters to learners in the states of Washington and California. The Schools have been placed in the ranks of the best performing public schools in the United States by the likes of the World Report, US News, and Newsweek. Partnering with the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Summit has been distributing and sharing its advanced Personalized Learning Platform for free with schools all over the United States. Tavenner graduated from Stanford University and the University of Southern California and went on to become a teacher and administrator in several public schools across the state of California. She is also a Broad Academy and Pahara-Aspen Fellow.

Tavenner was a teacher, educator, and for many years a school principal in public schools and found the experience frustrating. She believed in changing education but found brick walls whenever she tried to implement her ideas. The final piece was when she was pregnant with her first child and she knew something had to change. She started thinking about education as a parent and particularly what type of education she would have loved her child to graduate from. The biggest brick wall she faced was how siloed and narrow-focused the curriculum was in high school. Most schools still wanted to teach separate subjects by the hour using a combination of testing, lectures, and textbooks which she found very archaic. She knew from experience and data that it was a very inefficient way of preparing learners for the challenges of a modern world. What she believed learners needed were hard academic skills combined with a dynamic set of skills but also the mindsets and habits that would make them engaged and successful people. As a teacher, mother, and school network builder, she wrote about her work in “Prepared: What Kids Need for a Fulfilled Life.” In the work, she shares the lessons she has learned over the years about getting learners ready for life, work, and college. Tavenner has said she hopes the novels would be the bridge that brings together teachers and parents.

Diane Tavenner established the first of her Summit Schools in 2003 and has never looked back since. There are now more than fifteen schools spread across Washington and California. The schools were cofounded alongside parents that felt that the public schools in their states were not up to the standards they wanted. But there were very few schools that had the things that most of the parents required. As such, they came together with Diane to start a school and the Summit Public schools were born. The schools have gained a reputation for success as 99 percent of their students usually graduate and are admitted into a four-year college. The rate of graduation from college of these students is also double the national average. The students will usually not focus on the college admissions race but rather, they compete with their peers on test scores or rankings. Students spend much of their time developing skills of self-reflection, collaboration, and self-direction, all of which help them become successful in college and solve real-world problems later in life. Today hundreds of schools in the District of Columbia and others in more than thirty-eight states are using the Summit model to improve learning outcomes. Making use of hard-earned lessons and personal stories, the expert team at Summit provides a model of learning that makes use of unconventional wisdom and learning philosophies to make education better.

Diane Tavenner’s “Prepared: What Kids Need for a Fulfilled Life” tells the story of the founding and development of the Summit Public Schools. Tavenner cofounded the first of the Summit schools in 2003 and in doing so developed and perfected a personalized project that made students take the lead in the learning process. The school pioneered a personalized learning plan that each student could customize for their own needs. They engaged the students through real-world interdisciplinary projects as opposed to passive memorization and rote learning in a classroom setting. They came up with mentoring programs where students were provided with opportunities to help each other deal with challenges and also talk through their goals. They could also meet with their mentors at regular intervals whether that be a monthly or weekly basis. Under the program, students internalize a sense of collaboration, purpose self-sufficiency, and direction and learn the life and cognitive skills they need to navigate the workplace and their own lives. With the first school seeing so much success, more schools were opened over the following years that also went on to achieve success and recognition. Today Summit Public Schools and Tavenner partner with more than 400 schools, 80,000 students, and 3500 teachers to provide access to the Summit Learning Program and revolutionizing education.

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