Human Restoration Project and Learning InspirED Collaborate on "Students Leading the Way" Initiative to Transform Education

Chris McNutt
August 30, 2023
A big announcement from HRP in Ohio!

Ohio – Human Restoration Project (HRP), our 501(c)3 organization dedicated to revitalizing the human-centric aspect of education, is excited to announce its collaboration with Learning InspirED, an Ohio-based hub for educators, on the "Students Leading the Way" initiative. 

This transformative project, now entering its second year in conjunction with HRP, aims to reimagine the education landscape, focusing on student well-being, engagement, and empowerment. The initiative is currently being implemented across six Ohio public school districts, with a mission to bring lasting positive change to students, educators, and school communities. This initiative has substantial support through the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation.

Students Leading the Way goes beyond traditional, short-term workshops by forming enduring partnerships with school districts across Ohio. These partnerships facilitate ongoing change within schools, encompassing shifts in structures, processes, and practices that lead to more meaningful and fulfilling educational experiences. Through our students-first philosophy, all districts will partner with HRP for multiple focus groups throughout the year – focusing on students’ goals, aspirations, dreams, and ways to improve school. These will directly form how we address reimagining what school could be. Learning InspirED will conduct surveys, meet with administrators and educators, and build structures for implementing changes that target student autonomy and relationship-building.

Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, the urgency of addressing student well-being, mental health, and engagement has never been clearer. Key aspects of the initiative include:

  1. Data-Driven Insights: Over 120 middle and high school students from the six partnering districts will engage in data gathering and analysis through focus groups, professional synthesis, and report generation.
  2. Empowering Educators: Approximately 60 educators, including classroom teachers, will participate in ongoing professional development, where they will apply core principles to develop equitable student autonomy in classrooms and schools.
  3. Amplifying Student Voices: Establishing student focus groups as a permanent structure for connecting student perspectives to educational decisions and supporting educators in enhancing deeper learning experiences.
  4. Broad-Scale Impact: Collaboration across six public school districts, spanning diverse socioeconomic and racial backgrounds, with the potential to impact nearly 50,000 students.

The initiative aligns with six core priorities, placing autonomy and deeper learning at the forefront:

More information will be released throughout the year. We look forward to continuing to create an impact in public education throughout the United States (and around the world). Let’s restore humanity, together.

Chris McNutt
Chris McNutt is the co-founder and executive director of Human Restoration Project, a nonprofit organization focused on student engagement, well-being, and motivation. His work centers on realizing systems-based change, examining how progressive pedagogical shifts (e.g. PBL, ungrading) reimagine school to best suit the needs of students and teachers alike. He was a public high school digital media & design educator who focused on experiential learning, portfolio-driven assessment, and community involvement.
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