UCLA Community School Featured in Online Gallery on Schools Before and After COVID-19

Deeper learning at UCLA's signature K-12 highlighted by the Alliance for Excellence in Education.

Student and teachers at the UCLA Community School are  featured in the newly released Alliance for Excellent Education (All4Ed) online photo gallery  “American Education: Images of Teachers and Students in Action,” aimed at demonstrating what deeper learning looks like in the classroom—both before and after the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Teachers and staff from UCLA Community School meet with UCLA professors to discuss the various research projects happening at the school. L-R: Queena Kim, assistant principal, RFK UCLA Community School (’02, B.A., Teacher Education Program; ’08, M.Ed., ELP); Karen Hunter Quartz, director, UCLA Center for Community Schooling; and Leyda Garcia, principal, RFK UCLA Community School (’07, Principal Leadership Institute) Photo by Allison Shelley for American Education: Images of Teachers and Students in Action

The collection features nearly 200 new photos of teachers and K–12 students of all ages and backgrounds engaged in classrooms across the country just before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down schools. Funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the 200 new images added to the photo gallery feature teachers and students from UCLA Community School in Los Angeles and Sutton Middle School in Atlanta.

“We are honored to be included in this creative photography project showcasing what great teaching and learning looks like in America’s schools,” said Karen Hunter Quartz, the Director of the UCLA Center for Community Schooling. “The stunning images captured by Allison Shelley bring to life core practices and values–such as inclusion, biliteracy, and critical inquiry–that guide the work of the UCLA Community School.” 

With the new images, the gallery now contains 487 original print-quality, royalty-free images of what deeper learning looks like in the classroom. The gallery will be updated in the near future with additional photos and b-roll footage for use in videos. 

The images are openly licensed photos. They are available for noncommercial use by organizations, news outlets, website designers, and others. All4Ed is making the photos available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 license (CC BY-NC 4.0). 

A group of elementary students at UCLA Community School enjoy a mural on their campus. Photo by Allison Shelley for American Education: Images of Teachers and Students in Action

The images were captured by Allison Shelley, a photojournalist based in Washington, DC. Shelley is co-founder of the nonprofit Women Photojournalists of Washington and has worked as director of photography for Education Week and as a staff photographer for The Washington Times. Her photography regularly is featured in publications such as National GeographicThe New York Times, and The Guardian, among others.

“This collaboration has been a refreshing opportunity to apply my experience with photography in the educational space for an organization that both respects creative teaching and learning, and values nonstaged image making,” said Shelley. “The deeper learning model engages students and teachers in unique ways, and I am excited to continue to document this approach as it evolves and adapts to meet these challenging times.” 

 “American Education: Images of Teachers and Students in Action” is available at all4ed.org/images.

Above: Students in a combined fourth- and fifth-grade class at UCLA Community School work together on a poster about the Lunar New Year. Photo by Allison Shelley for American Education: Images of Teachers and Students in Action