Community And Alumni Meeting Targets $10 Million XQ Super School Project Grant Proposal

LAHS drama instructor David Daniel leads a XQ Grant Proposal discussion Dec. 30 at Los Alamos Teen Center along with LATC Director Sylvan Argo and Assistant Director George Marsden. Courtesy photo

LAPS News:

The work group to explore ideas for a $10 million educational grant to submit to the XQ Super School Project met Wednesday evening, Dec. 30 at the new Los Alamos Teen Center (LATC).

More than 30 community members including many Los Alamos high school alumni as far back as 1962 attended along with various school officials and teachers. Five young people in attendance were 2016 graduates. The meeting included a tour of the new facility and discussion break out groups to identify key initiatives and priorities for the XQ Los Alamos proposal. 

The XQ project is looking for communities that are willing to create a high school incubator with advanced educational ideas. It is part of a larger $50 million fund sponsored by Steve Jobs widow Laurene Powell Jobs, and her foundation, the educational reform organization Emerson Collective.

The funds will be divided among five communities and school systems. The challenge is for educators and communities to “rethink high school.” It is believed that Los Alamos is an excellent candidate for this grant award due to its high value on education.

In attendance were LAPS Superintendent Dr. Kurt Steinhaus, LAHS Principal Brad Parker, School Board Member Bill Hargraves and XQ team members. LAHS drama instructor and XQ Team member David Daniel facilitated the discussion. Follow-up will include facilitating additional group sessions to include additional students and community members.

Amalio Madueño, professional grant writer and consultant to LANL and LAPS was on hand to gather information from the discussions in preparation to submit the grant application. The interim proposal is due Feb. 1, 2016 and the final deadline is Nov. 15, 2016.

Questions asked of the panelists were:

  • How do you define success?
  • In what areas can Los Alamos high school prepare students for life after high school?
  • How would you empower students to challenge barriers to their learning?
  • How can we enrich the culture of the high school to make learning more meaningful?

Some of the many discussion topics covered for reinventing high school learning techniques were professional and practical life skills, mental health and counseling, interpersonal communications, team learning, critical thinking, and socialization skills.   

Community members are all invited to contribute to the XQ Los Alamos proposal. To find out more about this process and participate in the brainstorming for the XQ proposal, go to #XQ/#LAHS on twitter or “Los Alamos High School XQ” on Facebook. Or contact any of the XQ Team members: David Daniel, Bill Hargraves or Sylvan Argo at the LATC.