School District 72 is revamping its beliefs on teaching and learning, and looking for input from the community.
“In our district, no matter which school your child goes to, their education will be grounded on these key beliefs around teaching and learning,” said assistant superintendent Nevenka Fair at Tuesday’s board of education meeting.
The initiative stems from the reconfiguration of district schools, which will be effective September 2012.
The new configuration will see kindergarten to Grade 5 elementary schools, Grade 6-8 middle schools, and Grade 9-12 secondary schools, instead of the current structure of kindergarten to Grade 6 elementary schools, Grade 7-9 middle schools, and Grade 10-12 secondary schools.
The school district held public meetings and an online forum for community input before it decided how to reconfigure its schools early this year, and it’s now looking for community feedback on how teachers, parents and students want the schools to look.
“How can we recognize what we’re doing well, recognize areas where improvement is needed, and then work together to be able to move forward,” said Fair.
The district has put together a visioning leadership team made up of a teacher representative from every school in the district, various departments, facilities, the Aboriginal Advisory Committee, District Parent Advisory Committee, and CUPE.
The next step is input from the public.
In the coming weeks parents and teachers will be invited to vision sessions, and students will be invited to voice their opinions, possibly in the form of online surveys.
Then focus groups will be developed for more intensive discussions, which Fair said she expects will be ready by the end of November.
The process will be ongoing while reconfiguration is in place as an improvement tool for the district.
Superintendent Tom Longridge stressed change to the school system will be significant, but said at the same time the school district is using the reconfiguration as a chance to reassess how to offer the best possible learning experience to students.
“We’re not addressing this as something that’s a deficit model that needs fixed, it’s an enhancement model that we are examining because we have been given this opportunity through the configuration and reconfiguration process,” said Longridge.