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Monterey Peninsula: Students and Teachers Co-Designing Strategies for Belonging

Monterey Peninsula Unified School District (MPUSD) sought to address a key problem in their district: “How might we increase flexibility and personalization to build a sense of belonging and connection within the context of our labor and policy constraints?”

The team decided on a solution that would engage students and teachers in a design process to design new systems for personalization, flexibility, connection, and belonging. Though Monterey Peninsula had engaged students and teachers throughout its design process (e.g., to identify the problem of practice), the design team knew that they also needed to be part of defining the solution.

This solution supports equity because it cedes decision-making authority into the hands of those closest to the problem. This solution supports resiliency because it requires the district to be positioned to respond to the solutions that teachers and students develop. It also introduces a new method: teacher- and student-involved design sessions, which the district can use in the future to address other problems.

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