#BackToSchool: A Year at Lake View High School — and a Year With Microsoft

| Scott Grens

I never imagined such progress in my first year as principal of Lake View High School, and so much of our growth in one year is in thanks to our developing partnership with Microsoft.

From the sponsoring of the “Research & Development STEM Challenge,” Microsoft provided students with real-world exposure to working (as students) alongside industry professionals in finding solutions to flooding issues. This work also involved leading academic scholars inside our school from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, United States Army Corps of Engineers, and the United States Navy. Imagine the amazed faces of our students as they learned directly from leaders in these fields – sharing both professional wisdom and leadership experiences.

As we continue to grow as a school and a partnership this year, Microsoft also plans to sponsor several work-based learning opportunities for all grade levels, which is in addition to summer internships already arranged for our students with the support of Microsoft. As a result of these experiences, we are seeing the transformation from teenagers to innovators as our students solve problems and commit to our community in various ways (Such as teaching lessons at Microsoft to one of our local elementary schools, Coonley Elementary, which ensured that students realized the importance of coding with “The Hour of Code.”)

LVHS Wildcats are also leading the way amongst the CPS Early College STEM Schools with our early college component of STEM. Our Course of Study provides students with twenty-five (25) courses that provide college-credit opportunities within our school building. All students can receive a true college preparatory education and earn credits in the Advanced Placement and Dual Credit curricula at Chicago’s Premier Neighborhood High School.

As I reflect on the year, I realize how challenging school leadership can be for some leaders working in isolation. Yet, I consider myself fortunate – having the support, outreach, and continuous care from a team in Microsoft, a team helping us achieve our school’s mission to “foster honor, ownership, mastery, and education through learning opportunities for all students in preparation for college, career, and community commitment.” Or, as we like to say #LVHSisHOME.

Thank you, Microsoft.

Scott Grens

To learn more about Microsoft’s commitment to youth and education, visit our YouthSpark Hub or follow us on twitter at @msftcitizenship.

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