Umi means ocean in Japanese. At the core, The Umi Project is about community.

Umi means ocean in Japanese.
At the core, The Umi Project is about community.
Thanks for joining this one!

Each month, this email will feature a highlight from The Umi Project’s (TUP) work on intentional design with partners and clients. You’ll also receive 3, hand-picked links to inspire your own work in intentional design. Make sure to download the most recent Intentional Design Guide.

This month, I am featuring The Umi Project’s ongoing work with DreamHouse ‘Ewa Beach. Even though the school’s doors have not even opened to students yet, DreamHouse’s new team has been undergoing an intentional process of on-boarding, including attending a 6-week online course on Designing your Project-Based Practice, and meeting up as a team to “define success” for both DreamHouse students and their instructional leadership team.
Learn more!

I (Kay) also attended an incredible place-based learning course at home in Homer, AK. At the Master Naturalist training, put on by the joint organizations of the Kachemak Bay Environmental Education Alliance (KBEEA), I got to explore the place I live through the lens of a naturalist, marine biologist, and community member. I’m inspired by the work of scientists in the community I live in, and can’t wait to learn more about the power of place-based learning that kids are exposed to here in Alaska.

Talk about lifelong learning!

This month, The Umi Project is inspired to intentionally design school systems, and to think critically about how place, and the questions we ask about place, lead to our own perceptions and understanding about the communities we live in. Check out the following resources to be inspired as well!

  1. The act of bringing teachers into the planning and design of their own evaluation systems can be daunting, but so inspiring and powerful when done intentionally. TUP’s client started this process last month by looking at student success first.

  2. A different look at “self-care” – how we need “community care” too. Think about how the intentional design of a community leads to a more sustainable future.

  3. “When the north wind blows and you feel it in your sails, when you feel it on your body as it cools you, as it gives you relief, that is we Alaskans with you,” – Native Alaskans and Native Hawaiians come together to celebrate the wa’a Ho’oilina, and their cultural and symbolic ties… a great discussion and connection to have with your kids at home too!

John Hattie talks about “Visible Learning”, and how New Zealand schools defined excellence for students, not by measuring test scores, reading and writing and math exclusively, but by looking at the Whole Child.
See you next month! Share the love by encouraging families, friends and colleagues to join our email list. Have an idea or a resource? Send it to