Construct Helps Newberg Teachers "Breakaway" into the 21st Century

On February 23rd and March 5th, 2018, Construct is pleased to bring the "Breakaway" service to the Newberg School District. 20 teachers and staff from Newberg High School and surrounding middle schools completed the Breakaway workshop -- two days of intensive professional development, learning a design-driven method for curriculum creation that builds a culture of innovation in their schools.


Breakaway builds on the first phase of Innovate Newberg: a day-long Make-A-Thon on January
27th. The Make-A-Thon introduced students, educators and community members to coding, engineering, design, and prototype creation. Newberg principals and assistant principals also completed a School Retool training in 2017.

“This is an exciting manifestation of what we all learned last year and agreed as a team was
best for Newberg students,” said Karen Pugsley, principal at Chehalem Valley Middle School.
“If we’re going to create a new norm, we need staff to experience for themselves how to
teach from learner and facilitator perspectives.”

Phase 2: Teacher Breakaway 

Construct Foundation has intentionally structured the Breakaway team training to link the
middle schools’ curriculum to the high school, and to directly lead into implementation of
student-led design challenges during the 2017-2018 school year. This will complete the second phase of Innovate Newberg.

During the two-day workshops, teachers and staff develop their own practice as design
innovators. Together they will build and co-facilitate student-centered, real-world design
challenges that add relevancy and immediacy to learning. Afterwards, coaches continue
working with a team of teachers from each of the schools. This shift from passive to active
learning supports 21st Century teaching and learning via Newberg School District’s 5Cs for
student success: Critical thinking, Creativity, Collaboration, Communication, and


Next Up? Agile Learning

In the third and final phase, Newberg High School will build out the Agile Learning
Laboratory, adding to the Integrated Design Studio and providing capacity for students in
content area classes to undertake real-world design and build challenges. These challenges often benefit the entire community.

“Breakaway learning prepares students for today’s workforce. These teachers, supported
by their administration, are leading the way to accelerate culture shift in their schools so
that more students find their way to success and thrive after graduation,” said Gina Condon,
founder of Construct Foundation. “Whether they stay in Newberg or leave, go to a college or
go to a good job, this new way of learning will prepare them with the skills they need to
succeed in whatever life path they choose.”

Innovate Newberg & Construct in Oregon

Innovate Newberg is funded by a $50,000 grant from the Oregon Community Foundation
on behalf of the Austin Family Foundation, as well as other public-private partnerships, and
is one of several communities participating in a daring challenge as an outcome of Innovate
Oregon’s initiatives in the testbed of Innovate Yamhill County.

Construct Foundation and Innovate Oregon, alongside courageous teachers, school
administrators, students and community partners, developed the three-phase Innovate
toolkit to support under-resourced communities, both rural and urban, to
modernize educational models to keep pace with the networked, global economy and to
build resilience in their local community. To find out how to bring Innovate to your community, contact us.