The OCF team had a great time at the Shedd in Eugene for the third Studio to School Rendezvous. It was wonderful to see the camaraderie that has developed both within and among the grantee teams. The room was bursting with energy and we enjoyed seeing the high fives and hearing the cheers as teams made their way through the game.
Watching the Studio to School project teams and a few of our fellow team members play the game taught us a lot about systems change. According to reflections from the end of the day, the project teams also learned a lot also about what it takes to realize change. Many teams wrote that playing the game highlighted that systems change is a systemic, iterative process that takes time. Laying the groundwork and carefully planning at the outset is important, but reflection is also needed throughout the process so that revisions can be made based on needs or success. In the words of one team, sometimes you have to “go back to the drawing board to move forward.”
Teams also noted the importance of taking time to engage stakeholders. That success requires being intentional with stakeholder involvement, allowing people to share their points of view at multiple points during the process. Teams also noted how important it was during the game to engage a broad range of stakeholders and know how they are socially connected.
Communication with school staff and administration was also essential. Not only do you need to communicate about your actions throughout the process, but you also need to constantly communicate your vision in order to make progress.
As a result of the learning that occurred during the game, teams outlined a variety of steps that they can take with their own projects. Several project teams want to review and reflect on their plan and vision as needed throughout the project. Many teams want to improve communication with a variety of stakeholders, including school teachers and administration, parents, students, and community members. A few teams also want to identify additional stakeholders within their schools and communities.
We hope that teams take the steps outlined in their reflections. As always, the OCF Studio to School team is here to support you in doing so. We hope you enjoyed the rendezvous as much as we did. We’re already looking forward to our next meeting in August!