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Transforming education in the WWSU—planning for the future
By the members of the Washington West Supervisory Union School Board
Change is uncomfortable. Yet we are asked daily to be flexible, amenable and forward thinking in the face of a shifting future landscape. Our schools are asked to act similarly as they are tasked with educating our children—the future leaders, as is so often said. With technology attaching itself to greater facets of our lives and a powerful global economy, we must be reflective in how our school systems are meeting these new demands. Certainly standards are evolving, but how do the schools in our specific supervisory union position themselves in a way that is not business as usual but responsive to these new standards? It is important that we craft a coherent plan so that we can be proactive in creating new expectations and goals for our schools.
Clearly, a strong focus on areas of science and math seem like an intuitive pathway, but what about greater technological adoption and immersion, cross-cultural programs, differentiated learning opportunities? Is this a tall order with tight budgets and potentially dwindling student populations? How are we as a community going to support 21st-century expectations within our rural school system that is proud of graduating talented, skilled and competitive students?
These are important and compelling questions that we should all be engaged in as we look forward and consider a vision for Harwood Union High School and all the schools in our district. Therefore, please consider being involved in a series of very important seminars that will be taking place over the course of the year at Harwood Union.
The first seminar titled Transforming Education in Washington West Supervisory Union—Planning for the Future, will take place October 29 at 6 p.m. in the Harwood library. There will be a presentation by WWSU superintendent Brigid Scheffert and WWSU curriculum director Sheila Rivers, followed by a Q&A period. Please be a part of this important conversation with school board members and principals from your local schools, the central office team, parents and community members. The plan is to follow up with two more seminars during the course of the year, in January and March, respectively.
If we are to successfully embark on change with optimism and courage, it is important that all the stakeholders are part of the process and understand the challenges and goals facing our district as we work toward a clear path of success for our students.
Ben Smith is the Washington West Supervisory Board chair. Board members include Sue Daley, Eve Frankel, Deb Hunter, Steve Odefey, Rob Rosen, Kaj Samsom and Dale Smeltzer.