Construct began in 2013 with the intention of incubating and expanding access to new models for teaching and learning, allowing students to develop skills they would need for success after school. As we began to build networks of teachers and school leaders, we realized that support was needed in shifting the culture in our public schools—toward modern approaches that could be more readily tested and adopted. That is why, in 2017, the focus of our work shifted to incubating a scalable model for expanding the capacity for creativity and innovation in Oregon schools.
Our work with Breaker began as a single-program offering for college-age youth and an accompanying ride-along teacher effort. Thanks to Construct serving as an incubator for Breaker, the program has now grown into comprehensive, progressive professional development opportunities for teachers, immersive summer and school-year student curricula experiences for middle- and high-schoolers, and an integrated school-wide approach to teaching and learning that is transforming K-12 education in Oregon. In 2014, our first Breaker effort provided direct impact to 12 students, hosted 38 professional development seats, and attracted numerous industry partners. In 2017, this program will impact more than 700 students and teachers in multiple counties.
Construct’s ongoing relationship with College Possible ensures that the educationally transformative Breaker program includes student participants from underserved communities.
Each Breaker challenge has helped catalyze a rich eco-learning system, dismantling barriers between industry and education, while also building social capital for underrepresented students. Our industry partners have included Nike, Ecotrust, New Seasons, Wieden+Kennedy, First Republic, Portland State University; Portland Public Schools; Metro; and many others.
Construct arranged for the pilot School Retool Principal Fellowship to happen in Oregon. Linked to our work in Dayton and the Portland Metro region, we were able to gather 17 principals from 11 school districts as part of the fellowship. For this project, we collaborated with Innovate Oregon and The Chalkboard Project and received funding support from the Miller Foundation.
By helping to launch the KairosPDX School in Northeast Portland, Construct is working to eliminate the educational achievement gap for historically underserved children. KairosPDX started as a kindergarten and is now a K-4 school.
As a lead, early funder for Concordia’s 3toPhD initiative, Construct is working to create a new university/public elementary school co-location model that facilitates and celebrates the intersections of teacher education and parent and community engagement.
Since Construct’s founding, our work has activated a multi-sector network of education stakeholders, businesses and individuals of shared purpose across the greater Portland community