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About Us » Reimagining Our School

Reimagining Our School

Designing our School Through the Rural Schools Collaborative

King Murphy Elementary is currently engaged in a journey of redesigning our school structure and priorities. The school community is working together to determine what will best serve our students and our community into the future. This work is being facilitated and inspired by the rural schools collaborative.

Transcend’s inaugural Rural Schools Collaborative is an opportunity for pioneering rural school communities to co-create with Transcend a ten-month cohort program to reimagine school, running from August, 2021 to May, 2022. The cohort will include 6–12 rural school communities from across the country. During the Collaborative, teams will engage in 2-4 convenings, exploring high-impact topics, such as leading a community-led school design process to achieve equitable results for all students, the skills and mindsets young people will need in order to thrive in and transform the 21st century, your community’s aspirations and needs, the science of learning and development, and learning from innovative school models across the country, while also providing space for teams to collaborate and exchange ideas. Through this program, teams work locally to enlist their broader community in shaping the vision for their reimagined school.

Our Prioritized LEAPS for School Redesign:

  • Rigorous, Consistent Instruction and Learning

  • Relevant/Real-World/Authentic Experiences

  • Student Driven Learning

  • Learning that demonstrates social consciousness and awareness


For more information on Transcend and the Rural Schools Collaborative, visit


Our Current Pilot Work:

Experiential Learning

Experiential Learning is the process of learning by doing. By engaging students in hands-on experiences and reflection, they are better able to connect theories and knowledge learned in the classroom to real-world situations.

Experiential learning opportunities exist in a variety of course- and non-course-based forms and may include community service, service-learning, undergraduate research, study abroad/away, and culminating experiences such as internships, student teaching, and capstone projects, to name a few.

When students participate in experiential education opportunities, they gain:

  • A better understanding of course material

  • A broader view of the world and an appreciation of community

  • Insight into their own skills, interests, passions, and values

  • Opportunities to collaborate with diverse organizations and people

  • Positive professional practices and skill sets

  • The gratification of assisting in meeting community needs

  • Self-confidence and leadership skills



Expeditionary Learning 

EL Education is a school reform model that emphasizes high achievement through active learning, character growth, and teamwork. EL Education grew out of a partnership between Harvard Graduate School of Education and Outward Bound, USA. By marrying the philosophies of character-building deeply embedded in Outward Bound lessons and an active approach to learning, the EL Education model was born. EL Education emphasizes five Core Practices and ten Design Principles that support teaching and learning in its schools.


EL Education's Five Core Practices


Curriculum: Our approach to learning makes standards come alive for students by connecting learning to real-world issues and needs. Learning Expeditions are challenging, interdisciplinary, real-world projects and in-depth studies that act as the primary curriculum units in EL Education schools. Learning Expeditions support critical literacy and address key academic standards of content and skills while promoting character development and fostering a service ethic.


Instruction: In EL Education schools, teachers use strategies and techniques to lift up big ideas and help students become active and collaborative learners: to make connections, to find patterns, to see events from different perspectives, to experiment, to go beyond the information given, and to develop empathy and compassion for events, people, and subjects. Learning targets guide student learning fostering ownership and responsibility for learning. Capturing student thinking and learning through inquiry, problem-solving and critical thinking sets high expectations for student engagement.


Student-Engaged Assessment: EL Education believes that assessment practices should motivate students to become leaders of their own learning. Students track their progress toward standards-based learning, set goals, and reflect on growth and challenges. Students and teachers regularly reflect on and analyze a variety of data to inform instruction and identify areas for growth. Students own their learning and, as a result, present it and talk about it in different settings such as student-led conferences and celebrations of learning in their classrooms. 


Culture and Character: The whole school is involved in establishing a culture of respect, responsibility, courage, and kindness. Teachers, staff, administrators, and students are intentional in their commitment to fostering citizenship and working to become ethical people who contribute to a better world. Setting expectations and celebrating achievements bookend the deep, rigorous and meaningful work teachers and students engage in throughout each day and the year.



Leadership: Schools are guided by a cohesive school vision focused on student engagement and achievement. Leadership is fostered at all levels and with all stakeholders to promote continuous improvement.


For more information on EL Education, visit

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