What should I expect as a teacher?

What’s does a school schedule look like? What is the difference between project time, mentor time, and personalized learning time?

Project time: At Summit, our educational approach uses project-based learning in the classroom. Each teacher facilitates two to four sections of “project time” per day— when students are going to history class for example. Teachers have an average of twelve sections a week, which last 90 minutes (in high schools) or 18 sections a week, which last 55 minutes (in middle schools).

Mentor time: Teachers have 50-minute daily check-ins with their whole mentor group, usually at the end of the day. Additionally, they have 90-minute sections on Habits of Success with their full mentor group once a week. Teachers utilize a framework called Building Blocks for Learning as a structural model for teaching habits. While we utilize this framework, we also value the flexibility to have conversations around topics that are important and/or culturally relevant to students (e.g. views on political elections).

Self Directed Learning Time (SDL): Students work on curated content playlists that are designed by teachers. This approach allows students to show mastery of content through a 10-question multiple choice assessment. Students have control over the timeline and pace of SDL, along with the sequence in which they learn specific content. Students can also take a diagnostic before the content assessment in order to better understand which topics they need to study further. Mentors check in with their students to see how they’re progressing toward completing checkpoints, short- and long-term goals, and projects.

What does professional development look like at Summit?

Summit offers strong support for our teachers’ professional development (PD). The structure for teacher PD varies from site to site, but you can expect weekly coaching sessions with a school leader, 40 days of dedicated PD time throughout the year, and weekly collaboration time with your grade-level and course-level teams. About half of PD time is determined by organization-wide or site-specific priorities, while the other half is self-directed and allows time to work on personal professional priorities.

How do teachers collaborate at Summit?

Summit teachers have many opportunities to collaborate as a team. Each week, Summit teachers meet with their full faculty in “Leadership Team” meetings, where they collaborate around school-wide initiatives, culture, and community. They also alternate each weekly meeting with their grade-level teams and course-level teams. Course-level teams consist of every Summit teacher teaching AP Environmental Science, for example. These meetings occur via video conference and allow teachers teaching the same curriculum at different schools to share best practices, leverage each other’s resources, and share challenges and successes.

What does a typical day look like for a Summit teacher?

Step into our classroom and learn more about the parts of a regular day of instruction by watching this video, Personalized Learning at Summit Public Schools:

Vimeo video – Personalized Learning at Summit Public Schools:

Text transcript of “Personalized Learning at Summit Public Schools” video

You can see a sample schedule of a Summit teacher.

Curriculum: Summit’s curriculum is grounded in what science tells us about how students learn best. As a teacher, you’ll use Summit’s project-based curriculum and have opportunities to creatively differentiate for and engage each student. Learn more and explore the curriculum online.

What are Summit schools like?

We are 14 schools in California and Washington state, serving an incredibly diverse population of over 4,500 students from all different backgrounds.

From the beginning, Summit schools have been diverse by design. We recognize that kids do better in diverse environments. Our students work together and collaborate, and everyone is held to the same high expectations; this helps our students form community and belonging.


Diversity of Students