Pauline Baker was invited by Ochoa Principal Heidi Aranda and PACE teacher Paula McPheeters to create a Reggio-inspired Studio in the portable building adjacent to the preschool wing.
The Ochoa Peace Garden Studio opened and Pauline Baker began working with the PACE children.
February 27, 2005
Dedication of the new Studio.
From 2004 - 2008
The Reggio-inspired teaching and learning experiences in the Ochoa preschool classrooms and Studio were peripheral to what was happening at the school but lasting relationships were being made with children, families and educators, and they continued to remember their experiences during their preschool years. Throughout this time, Principal Aranda regularly brought visitors from all walks of life to see the projects, learning experiences and environment in Paula's room and the Studio.
Ochoa was one of four schools threatened with closure by the TUSD School Board. A proposal for Ochoa to become a Reggio-inspired elementary school was written by a core group of Ochoa staff, parents and community members.
March 18, 2008
More than 600 people joined hands around Ochoa communicating support and protesting the threat of closure
March 31, 2008
TUSD School Board reversed its decision and the four schools remained open.
Dr. Elizabeth Celania-Fagen was hired to be the new TUSD Superintendent.
Dr. Fagen came to Ochoa and encouraged us to move forward with our proposal to become a First Choice Reggio-inspired Elementary School.
Four Ochoa educators attended the Opening Event and Panel Presentation for "The Wonder of Learning - The Hundred Languages for Children" Exhibit in Denver, Colorado.
Professional development meetings with Ochoa staff entitled, "Encountering Reggio Together" began.
Principal, Heidi Aranda facilitated four Focus Group discussions with staff, about Reggio and the Ochoa Proposal.
January 13, 2009
Ochoa Community Event was held at the John Valenzuela Youth Center to introduce the Ochoa community to the Reggio education story. Lella Gandini, Karen Haigh, Gloria Hamelitz, Enrique Serna, John Fife, Ruben Reyes and Brian Flagg spoke, with more than 200 people in attendance.
January 14, 2009
Dr. Lella Gandini facilitated a Strategic Planning Meeting with what was to become the Ochoa Leadership Committee. In the afternoon, Lella gave a presentation about the Reggio philosophy and approach to Ochoa staff during the Wednesday Professional Development meeting.
January 19, 2009
Dr. Karen Haigh facilitated two days of Strategic Planning and with the Leadership Committee and together they began to develop the Ochoa Vision, Belief Statements and a Planning Framework.
January 20, 2009
The Ochoa Site Council met and approved the decision for Ochoa to become a Reggio-inspired school.
January 29, 2009
Principal Aranda, Paula McPheeters, and Pauline Baker did a presentation about the Reggio philosophy and practice at the TUSD Executive Team meeting.
The Ochoa Leadership Committee began to meet regularly to continue work on the school's strategic plan and environment.
February 18, 2009
Ochoa Kindergarten Open House included a presentation about becoming a Reggio-inspired school.
February 24-26, 2009
Maggie Shafer and several Ochoa teachers traveled to Portland, Oregon to visit the Opal School, an elementary school inspired by the Reggio approach.
A list of Ten Must Have items was developed for Maggie Shafer, TUSD's Chief Academic Officer to support Ochoa's journey to become Reggio-inspired.
April 15, 2009
A presentation was given to Ochoa staff about what it might mean to be part of a school that is inspired by Reggio. Dr. Fagen's research-based curriculum framework, Skills for the Future was shared.
Kindergarten teachers and some Ochoa staff made plans for considering the environment of their new classrooms and the common areas for the school. They scheduled meetings in June and July with Pauline Baker.
Work began on transforming the environments of the Kindergarten classrooms and common areas of the school. A place for a Documentation Room and Community Studio were identified.
Kindergarten and PACE teachers met with Pauline Baker, and initial efforts were made to set up classrooms. Painting and repairs were done, and furniture and supplies were purchased for the Ochoa environment.
August 3-5, 2009
Consultant Karen Haigh met with Preschool and Kindergarten teachers and focused on: Partnerships with Families and Community; Role of the Environment; Professional Development; Teaching and Learning; Role of the Studio and Materials; and Documentation. A Five Year Plan was developed.
Kindergarten teachers did Home Visits every afternoon for the first two weeks of school. A massive effort was made to remove furniture that was not needed and to begin to setup spaces for a Documentation Room and Community Studio; and to clean, organize and beautify the school's entire environment both inside and out. Collaboration Meetings with the PACE, Kindergarten and Studio teachers were scheduled every Thursday afternoon to focus on curriculum, environment, documentation and the role of materials.
September 5, 2009
An article entitled, "Elementary School Redefined" was published in the Arizona Daily Star featuring the Ochoa kindergartens.
September 10, 2009
The Ochoa Open House included a presentation of the new Ochoa Vision and Belief Statements and its Reggio-inspiration.
September 22, 2009
The first issue of the newly-formatted TUSD INNOVATIONS appeared with a cover photo of children working in the Ochoa Studio; an article about being a First Choice School; and another entitled "Ochoa Becoming Reggio-inspired".
September 29, 2009
John Merrow and David Wald of PBS filmed at Ochoa. Their focus was on the budget crisis and public school funding. They learned about the Ochoa study of Reggio, saw the Studio and decided to return for more filming.
September 30, 2009
First Ochoa Leadership Meeting of the 2009-2010 school year was held, and meetings with families and UA Education professor Dr. Iliana Reyes were planned.
October 1, 2009
David Wald, Producer and Photographer, filmed children and teachers working with Pauline in the Studio; and interviewed Kindergarten teachers Brandi Ruiz, Christina Lopez and Susan Shaw, Principal Aranda, PACE Teacher Paula McPheeters and Pauline Baker. Pauline Baker facilitated the first of six Book Study meetings focused on the new book entitled, Insights and Inspirations from Reggio Emilia - Stories of Teachers and Children from North America which featured two invited stories and accompanying images by Pauline.
October 19, 2009
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and U.S. Representative Raul Grijalva held a Round Table Discussion at Ochoa and visited the Studio and two classrooms.
The Tucson Children's Project hosted the "Insights and Inspirations from Reggio Emilia" Conference featuring the editors of the book, Lella Gandini, Susan Etheredge and Lynn Hill. The Reggio inspiration at Ochoa, in Head Start programs and in a variety of schools throughout Tucson was featured.
Ochoa was encouraged to apply for a grant from the U.S. Department of Education to promote school choice and encourage diversity. Work on this grant continued for many months with assistance and support of the Leadership Committee and Consultants Lella Gandini and Karen Haigh.
Dr. Elizabeth Celenia-Fagen is hired away from TUSD. A search begins for a new Superintendent for TUSD.
Professional development with Consultant, Karen Haigh.
September 28, 2010
Ochoa learned that it had been selected as one of 39 schools across the country to receive the U.S. Department of Education Magnet Grant. Victoria Callison is hired as the TUSD Magnet Grant Coordinator.
"Becoming a Reggio-inspired Public School: THE OCHOA STORY" by Pauline Baker, Heidi Aranda and Paula McPheeters was published in INNOVATIONS In Early Education: The International Reggio Exchange, Vol. 17, no. 4, Fall 2010.
Several Ochoa staff members and Victoria Callison visit Opal School in Portland Oregon. Professional Development with Consultant, Lella Gandini. Ochoa Magnet Grant positions filled: Mimi Gray hired as Pedagogista; Yolanda Sethi hired as Pedagogista. TUSD Governing Board approves Ochoa's new name - Ochoa Community Magnet School - a Reggio-inspired Elementary School.
Professional Development with Consultant Karen Haigh.
Ochoa staff members, and Magnet Grant leaders attend the "Journey of Possibilities: Reggio Inspirations in Elementary Contexts", Calgary, Alberta.