The “How”

On March 16th, Dayton Junior High and High School students attended a conference at the Nike Headquarters in Beaverton. The event was divided into “breakout sessions”, each starting with presentations about Dayton’s newly introduced independent studies classes. Students presented their personal experiences with these classes to local industry professionals, as well as teachers and administrators from all around the state of Oregon.

Innovate 18 speakers from Dayton High School

During these conferences, students showed their audience of educators and professionals, what Dayton School District has accomplished within their newly introduced independent studies classes and what they are avidly envisioning for Dayton’s future. After the presentations, the audience members were able to walk around the room and speak to students individually, to get a more personal viewpoint of what the classes meant to them.

The first breakout session was about Dayton’s independent research classes and how they’ve further expanded on individual learning possibilities to help fit each student’s educational interests. For instance, many students shared their experience in Independent Marine Biology, a class where students had the opportunity to pursue their studies in the underwater systems or aquatic animals that particularly interested them. 

The second breakout session was all about Design Challenge class and how it has continually enforced Dayton’s “Fail Forward” philosophy at the school. Dayton’s Fail Forward philosophy is that after failure, comes clearer insight of the future of the school’s education system.

Dayton Jr. High and High School Design Challenge students

Students at this conference discussed big projects they were able to complete through Design Challenge, which may not have been possible within the constraints of a standard curriculum-based class.

Seeing Dayton’s recent educational accomplishments all laid out at in such a way, reminded everyone of how much Dayton has achieved as a school, even just this year. It seemed to further instill to the students that Dayton Jr. High and High School stands out among other schools.

Students from Beaverton High School created a fantastic video all about the Innovate 18 conference at Nike. In the video, one teacher quotes; “What we want you [the teachers] to do, is stop asking for permission to innovate. Just go off and do something.” He says, “Make it amazing, supercharge your students, turn them into problem solvers.” This is the current goal of the teachers within Dayton School district: to reshape the view of education and contemporize it with the students.

Dayton is expanding with new ideas, to make the school a more inclusive place for students and their unique interests. This expansion is inspiring not only the community in Dayton, but all over Oregon as well.


Bevin Schrag Administrator

Bevin Schrag is a senior at Dayton High School and a writer for Innovate Oregon. After high school, she plans to attend Chemeketa Community College and major in graphic design, to later become a media designer.