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December 14, 2015
Posted by: USD 373 Admin Published: 12/14/15

The Visioning and Strategic Planning Process is moving forward. On the evening of Monday, December 14, the Board and 19 of the invited community members met with Lester Limon to begin reviewing the fields of inquiry.

Mr. Limon reviewed the process to this point and shared the mantra, "USD 373 - the place to be!" He explained the appreciative inquiry model and the fields of inquiry currently being considered: Teaching and Learning, Relationships, and Assets and Resources. Mr. Limon showed the attendees how the next steps would emerge through the setting of goals for each of the fields of inquiry and development of a comprehensive strategic plan. The final step in the process will be the development of a master plan for each of three fields of inquiry. He shared that the fields are fluid and the input of the community at this stage is critical. These fields are not set in stone and will likely evolve as we proceed through this process. 

After revealing the process, Mr. Limon posed questions to the community members including: What's important to you? What are your opinions?

Board and community members spent the almost two hours engaged in dialogue. While there are three fields of inquiry, the time was spent discussing Teaching and Learning. Three elements of teaching and learning were revealed: rigor, relevance, and results. Some comments or questions that were shared included:

  • Work ethic is a disposition. How will we measure?
  • The rigor is shaped by the relationship.
  • It is good if we know where we are. What's the measurement? How do we know if we have gotten better?
  • Curriculum needs to include creative and critical thinking and problem-solving. 
  • Newton is known for its collaboration. Build on that reputation and collaborate more with business owners and industry.
  • Relevant to whom? 
  • It is important for students to have the ability to see opportunity. 
It was hoped that the discussion would include all three fields of inquiry, but the allotted time was spent discussing Teaching and Learning and Mr. Limon requested that the community members return on January 27 to continue the work that had begun.