Moving Into a New School Year: 2018 Product Refresh
The 2017-2018 school year included many ups and downs. Small wins and moments of success were found in between many challenges and obstacles along the way. By the end of the school year Move This World had impacted over half a million students, closed a seed round of funding, and were gearing up for a massive product refresh. Based off of feedback from students, teachers and educational leaders, we began revising our curriculum in the spring, moved to video production in early summer, and spent the past several weeks building out a new online platform. As we kick off another school year, we’re excited to be working with students and teachers across 21 states and look forward to continuing to build close relationships with our partner schools so we can create the supportive learning environments we know children and young adults need to thrive.
Here are some key updates you can look forward to this school year:
More Video Content
The 2018-2019 school year will bring double the video content. As last school year came to a close, Founder and CEO, Sara LaHayne, along with the partner success team spent time reaching out to teachers and students to gather feedback. The conversations were enlightening, and there was a common theme throughout: everyone wanted more content. After developing new lessons and drafting video scripts, Move This World worked with the American Institute of Research and the Curry School of Education at University of Virginia to map the curriculum to the five core SEL competencies as defined by the Collaborative of Academic, Social and Emotional Learning and to ensure the program was scaffolded appropriately.
Once scripts were finalized, Move This World teamed up with Good Brothers Production of Brooklyn, New York to film the new exercises. The teams travelled to Achievement First Bushwick Middle School to begin taping. After a long weekend of production and several weeks of post-production edits with Skytown Entertainment, the videos were ready for our students and educators. Not only are schools receiving double the content, but the curriculum is more specialized based on grade levels this school year as well. The curriculum is now broken down into the following grade bands:
PreK to Kindergarten
Grade 1 and 2
Grades 3 and 4
Grades 5 and 6
Grades 7 and 8
Grades 9 through 12
New Online Platform
A main objective for this school year was to build out a new online platform that was more user friendly, addressed past technology challenges, and encouraged a stronger sense of community among Move This World partner schools. Through a partnership with Dream See Do, we set out to make our program as easy to use as possible. The result: a day by day guide to implementing the curriculum that is truly as easy as pressing play. Teachers are also more easily able to share photos, videos and stories from their classroom. We’re excited to see how these new features will be used to communicate and collaborate with teachers across the country.
The new platform also allows Move This World’s partner success team to distill information, resources and communicate more seamlessly with teachers. Stay on the lookout for additional social emotional learning resources and future webinars.
A Growing Family
In our new video content, you’ll also see three new faces: Icy, Lee and Natalie, Move This World’s three new trainers. Icy, Lee and Natalie joined veteran trainers Elliott and Megan on set back in June and dove headfirst into production. Feedback from high school students indicated that they wanted to see people their age, experiencing their challenges, who they could easily relate to on screen. High school students, Icy and Lee, along with college student, Natalie, were up to the challenge. They opened up to share personal challenges and their own wellbeing and stress management routines to help students across the country.
The Move This World family continues to grow behind the scenes as well. Over the past two months Move This World’s team has doubled in size, welcoming:
Bara Levitt, Program Director
Tyquan Payne, Program Manager
Elana Kanter, Engagement Manager
Angi Williams, Marketing Associate
Our growing team will allow us to better support our partners and maintain the close relationships needed to truly tackle the challenges surrounding social and emotional wellness. Stay turned to the blog and Move This World social media over the next few months to get to know all of these new teammates on a more personal level!
Ready for a New Year
Move This World’s school year officially kicked off with a professional development workshop with teachers McComb School District in Mississippi. The workshop focused on educator wellness, opening lines of communication and familiarizing teachers with the social emotional learning exercises students would be completing every day. We had the privilege of hearing Superintendent, Dr. Cederick Ellis, address the teachers at the conclusion of one of the professional development sessions. Dr. Ellis recognizes the important role social emotional learning can play on student success and realizes that implementing programming is not an overnight, quick fix. He explained, “It is not a sprint, it’s a journey. Every year we implement SEL we get better.” We are excited to be on this journey with McComb School Districts and many other districts throughout the country.