Comprehensive Planning (Previously Known as Strategic Planning)
On February 24, 2016, the Board of Education met with representative from DLR Group and Gravity Works to continue the development of a comprehensive (strategic) plan for the district. Kevin Greischar and Vince Haines led the discussion and refinement process.
The Board affirmed the district mission statement: The mission of the Newton School Community is to prepare our student to be capable, contributing participants in a changing world. The Board revised the draft of the vision statement to read: The vision of the Newton School Community is: USD 373 - The place where the passion for learning, leads to creativity.
The Board then began a process for developing guiding principles that will "help focus the work of the committee and clarify important decisions when individual interests and desires come in conflict with the overall goal." There were seven principles drafted:
- Education shall be Student Centered.
- Education shall Promote Creativity and Collaboration.
- Education shall be Technology Rich.
- Education shall foster Good Stewardship.
- Education shall have a Balanced Curriculum.
- Planning and Programming shall Ensure Safety and Security.
- Educational Planning shall instill Flexibility.
Board members responded to seven (7) questions regarding their perceptions of educational pedagogies of the district at this point in time.
- In response to a question regarding student centered or teacher centered, 72% had the opinion that the district is more teacher centered.
- When responding to a question regarding "next generation" thinking skills, 58% had the opinion that our facilities support thinking skills based on knowledge skills with some content and problem solving skills.
- A question regarding the type of learning focus in the district, found that 72% had the opinion that the focus of learning was based on traditional content moving towards "next generation literacies."
- When asked about the application of learning, 77% had the opinion that learning is being applied with an emphasis on classroom theory with some real-world relevance.
- In response to a question about who is responsible for learning, 78% had the opinion the responsibility for learning is an equal balance between the student and teacher.
- Responding to a question about the learning environment, 100% of the responders shared the opinion that learning environments are more traditional based with the focus being on the teacher.
- The last question was about the flexibility of the learning environment found that 78% of the responders had the opinion that the flexibility is considered durable/permanent with a little responsiveness to the curriculums/programs offered.
The entire summary report from the February 24, 2016 Board of Education can be accessed here.