Planners at Wolf Creek Public Schools (WCPS) are looking at a six-year literacy plan that will include feedback from all stakeholders.
A brief overview of the plan was presented by superintendent Larry Jacobs Wednesday, Aug. 26 during a conference for WCPS teachers. He said for change to take place, there needs to be three processes in place:
· New demands or ideas pushing an organization forward;
· New processes and tools pushing the organization to change;
· A plan in place on how to move forward.
For the first step, Jacobs said the ministerial order for a change in curriculum to Inspiring Education is leading the charge. Students, he added, are also learning differently and the new curriculum addresses that change.
“If you look at our students now they are very focussed on learning with technology,” explained Jacobs.
Teachers are also learning new techniques to drive that education, said Jacobs.
The ones providing the building blocks to new processes and tools, the second driving force to change, are the teachers. Jacobs says processes are already being used at WCPS that have teachers providing input and ideas on teaching.
Literacy is no longer being applied to a student being able to read. The skill is not only in students’ reading abilities but how they understand numbers, social behaviours, financial understanding and health.
Jacobs suggests literacy and numeracy are closely intertwined and says some nations are changing how students learn in a 21st century learning environment. New Zealand is one example where planners are looking at “personalized learning” where education is built around the learner rather than learner being required to fit into a specific system.
To bring this six-year plan to fruition will require extensive collaboration within the division, said Jacobs, who sees four areas to help make that happen:
· New programs for students
· New assessment tools
· New teaching tools
· Monitoring and evaluation
“We have to be very reflective in our processes,” said Jacobs.
Teachers’ feedback will be vital for planners to know what works and what doesn’t. “The complexity of our vision demands that you have the opportunity to talk to us about that.”
Jacobs said the next step would be to follow a set of goals and timelines to bring the plan to completion. He added that the WCPS board of trustees support the vision and wants to align its goals parallel to the division.