The Preferred Future
The preferred future is that pictured environment that is commensurate with our values, beliefs and aspirations for the future. The preferred future takes into account what we know today and how we can best apply our resources in terms of time, money, and people to shape what we prefer to be, how we would like to be perceived, and how we will further redefine ourselves over time.
The preferred future is not a destination, not an ideology, but a picture that changes over time. The preferred future is one that requires reflection on the past, an understanding of our surroundings, and must be revisited periodically to ensure cohesiveness between our current state and our given expectations.
In my observation, students, parents, teachers, administrators, and the Board of School Directors share a similar understanding of what the future can be. There is strong interest in developing a future in which technology is used to support teaching and learning in unique and engaging ways to differentiate instruction. Others see a future where technology and the use of a scientific inquiry-based approach to learning is preferred to promote a culture that opens new and unique opportunities while establishing a focus on Science Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) to prepare our students for tomorrow’s careers.
There exists a disconnect between students, parents, teachers, administrators, and the Board of School Directors as to the ownership for our collective successes and/or failures. This, I suggest, is remedied through deliberate changes in our culture via education, communication, and collaboration. Our organization needs to be responsive and flexible to ongoing shifts in student, staff, organizational, and community needs. Our classrooms must be student-centered and we must inspire a selfish desire for all to take charge of their learning, both students and adults. Learning must become intrinsic and perpetual. I believe that in order to create a culture of lifelong learning, we need to provide time for teachers to work together, to collaborate on student-centered lesson development, where learning is not only pervasive, but competitive, and appealing to all involved. The challenge is for students, parents, teachers, administrators, and the Board of School Directors to be comfortable in allowing for creativity and calculated risk taking where learning from mistakes become equally as valuable as learning from successes.
Educational leader and renowned author Peter F. Drucker suggests that the “best way to predict the future is to create it”. As such, I have taken the culmination of my observations, document reviews, survey results, and conversations with various constituents and have created a vision of our preferred future. I picture the future where the culture of our organization effectively and efficiently leverages technology, is flexible, sustainable, and data-driven; and encourages internal and external participation in the educational decision making process for the betterment of our community. I plan to lead the district over the next 3 years towards implementing the following 3 core objectives:
I will lead the development of an organizational culture that leverages technology in operationally and educationally innovative, unique, and effective ways to contribute to the academic growth, career readiness, and lifelong learning model for students.
- The district will, as part of its efforts to support teachers in differentiating instruction and promoting inclusive practices, develop an online virtual campus environment designed to support students in grades 5-12, parents, and staff. We will establish the high school, Arcola, and Skyview buildings as mobile instructional environments where Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is prevalent and district provided equipment compliments age and subject appropriate integration of technology into the curriculum.
- The district will extend its course delivery model to include on-line course and hybrid course offerings at Arcola and the high school to address 21st century skills, time deficit barriers, and differentiated instructional practices.
- The district will extend and organize its
communications with all constituents by leveraging social media and other
relevant and emerging technologies in order to provide accurate, timely, and
relevant information on activities and district/building happenings.
- The district will maximize the use of college and career readiness resources, including Naviance, to engage students, teachers, and parents starting in the seventh grade.
I will lead the development of an organizational culture that is flexible, sustainable, and data-driven.
- Create staffing resources and working conditions that are responsive to ongoing shifts in student, staff, organizational, community, and societal needs in order to provide relevant, timely, and competitive educational services.
- Establish a culture of fiscal sustainability and sensibility throughout the organization by communicating a consistent semi-annual message to all staff via email and by holding annual staff budget meetings where I present on the perspectives of sensibility and sustainability and inform all staff on best fiscal practices.
- Establish a culture of data-driven decision making within the administrative staff to become part of their performance goals.
- Establish a philosophy whereby no new programs or services will be accepted unless they make an optimal contribution to our mission; the benefits clearly outweigh the costs; and proper financial provisions have been made for staff development and program evaluation. This excludes all State and Federal mandates. This is to be implemented immediately.
- Establish a philosophy whereby student achievement, facilities, infrastructure, and extra-curricular activities are representative of the expectations of our community and remain highly competitive and attractive in the geographic region.
OBJECTIVE 3I will lead the development of an organizational culture that encourages internal and external participation in the educational decision making process and addresses the representation of the district within its geographical region for the collective benefit of the community.
- Create and administer an annual survey to gather feedback from constituents on educational and operational matters of interest and/or concern and provide that feedback.
- Create and implement the following administrative committees to provide reflective and emerging advice to the administration in order to maintain a pulse on areas of innovation, growth, and needed improvement.
- STEM Academy Development Advisory Committee
- Campus/Building/Facility Improvement Advisory Committee
- Early Intervention Services for Literacy Improvement Advisory