I got to the meeting late, after going to exercise class. My first impression was that this was a great turnout! Dennis Hatfield gave me the specifics of the invitational list, which had 30-40 district and administrative folk, 7 board members and only 5 members of the general public represented. When I arrived, they were on the last round of an iterative process which Mrs. Landers facilitated. She kept everyone focused on the task at hand. I chose the table dealing with excellence to join. It was a pretty lonely table with Deb Miller, Karla Sendelbach, Lou Havlik and Jenny Kalson from the district. Most of the other six tables had 7-8 participants. These are the statements generated by the eight tables:
**(when combined with #6 below) 1). Create a positive learning environment
-Foster Lifelong learning
-Engage students in real world application
-Meet needs of ALL students
**2). Facilitate the development of character traits that promote respect, tolerance, compassion and understanding in order to intrinsically respond to the environment (do the right thing).
3). Having the materials, resources, people and technology available to truly meet the needs of all students and staff.
4). Build and cultivate consistant and respectful partnerships among students and their families, the community and district employees.
5). Foster a community pride and investment in creating a culture of excellence in which all students achieve their own potential and enjoy the pursuit.
**6)=1). Nurture a community of lifelong learners regardless of abilities or grade level with a focus on engaging students in real world application and instilling a love and joy for learning.
**7). Support a culture that develops high quality and enthusiastic staff who are student centered and demonstrate life-long learning.
Forgot to record the number of votes.
The top (3) vote getting statements are starred. Number 1 and 6 both had the same assignment. These draft statements will go to the board for their consideration as they develop a vision statement.
Mrs. Landers polled everyone for what they thought was missing. The participants said:
1). Arts, co-curriculars and intangibles that were prominently included in earlier iterations of the process have been "distilled out." That was a pretty descriptive way to put it.
2). There was no student input. What would the kids say?
3). At least three people were not happy that so little in the way of student expectations was included in the statements, especially regarding excellence.
4). There was no reference to student achievement.
This info will go to the board for their next board developement meeting. They should have enough input to come up with something now.
As an aside, the second highest vote getter, with 27 votes, was basically character education. Just behind the 36 votes for making school practically useful while instilling a joy for learning. How much joy is in learning if one must always check it for practical application? Who's idea of practical are you going to employ? Who will provide the "practicality check?" The devil is in the details here.
I won't be at the Aug. 9 meeting. I'll post the agenda so people can check if they want to attend. Notice the location is planned for the High School Media Room! The Annual Meeting has been postponed, according to Heidi last Monday. I'll post that as soon as it's made public.