School District Embarks on New Strategic Plan for 21st Century Learning - The Missourian: Communities

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School District Embarks on New Strategic Plan for 21st Century Learning

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Posted: Saturday, January 26, 2013 10:00 am | Updated: 9:25 pm, Sat Jun 22, 2013.

A new strategic plan to guide the Washington School District over the next five years is being developed.

Superintendent Dr. Lori VanLeer said all public school districts in Missouri are required to update their comprehensive school improvement plan (CSIP) about every five years.

VanLeer shared details of the district’s 21st Century Learning Plan with the school board Wednesday night. The plan is just now being drafted. It will take a critical look at current reality and outline six key elements:

• Increase student achievement.

• Transform learning environments.

• Support innovators.

• Personalize professional growth.

• Enhance communications.

• Collaborate to make decisions.

VanLeer said development of the plan has been a multi-year planning process involving 400+ stakeholders, research and ongoing meetings. It includes input from the district’s three focus groups looking at student achievement, facilities and technology, as well as advisory groups.

“This plan will be fluid and it will change,” she told the board.

It will include best practices and data, she said, to help define a value for education and a culture for caring.

VanLeer said the focus is making sure students are college and career-ready when they leave high school. The skills needed must go beyond the basics, she said, and include analysis, critical thinking, self-direction, and technology and information literacy, among others.

“We must prepare students for their future, not our past,” she stressed.

VanLeer said expectations for education continue to climb and it’s important for the district’s comprehensive plans to be thoughtful and purposeful. It will speak to space and infrastructure; tools and resources; training; and curriculum and course offerings.

Areas of current research and study by the district for the plan include the work of Focus Group 3 which is learning in the digital age, as well as the science curriculum, foreign language, service/projects learning, interventions, safety and the caring school community culture.

The completed document will go to the board in February or March, she said, and then it will be put into motion.

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