We know developing a vision is critical to moving an organization forward in its practice. When developing a vision, leaders need to engage in a collaborative process. The process needs to be inclusive of multiple stakeholders (parents, students, teachers, leaders, and community members.
My colleague, Randy Ziegenfuss, Ed.D., and I collaboratively led our visioning process for Salisbury Township School District during the 15-16 school year.
When meeting with various groups of stakeholders, we asked the same two questions:
- What are the skills, knowledge/literacies and dispositions our graduates will need to be successful?
- What kinds of learning environments will best foster the development of these competencies and qualities?
Learn more about the details of our process in this interview with Dr. Rod Berger on EdCircuit . You can also learn more by listening to our co-hosted TLTalkRadio podcast.
While we were reading the texts, we had a parallel professional learning opportunity for teachers across the district. Our Innovate Salisbury teachers met once per month. During these meetings, they participated in professional learning, took risks as they implemented mini-projects, and learned while reading mentor texts. We also engaged experts and thought-leaders in educational innovations through the TLTalkRadio podcast. On our podcast, you can listen to 35 experts talk about uncommon dots in education.
The final products of this visioning work are two documents – Profile of A Graduate and Beliefs About Learning. Full-size sketches can be accessed here. These sketches were designed by Christy Brennan.
Profile of A Graduate
In order to realize this Profile of a Graduate, we will need to reflect on our classroom instruction. We need to analyze how our thinking about learning beliefs has evolved. Our newly envisioned learning beliefs are organized around the 5-pillar “north star” developed by Education Reimagined in their recent white paper, A Transformational Vision for Education in the US.
How do we move forward?
Our main focus for this year is tri-fold. With all of our stakeholders, we need to build a shared understanding of our Profile of a Graduate, Learning Beliefs, and the 4Cs. This will look different in every building. To support these goals in the buildings, we developed a Leading #Your Salisbury professional learning community. This professional learning community is comprised a leadership team from each building. The team will meet as a district team several times this year. Additionally, central office staff will support building teams with action planning in between the whole group meeting dates.
Randy Ziegenfuss and I shared this process at the 2016 PASA/PSBA School Leader Conference.