At the end of the recent school year, the School Board passed our 5 year strategic plan.  This vision for the District represents two years of incredible work from the teachers, parents, district staff and school board.    It is a fantastic step towards creating a 21st century learning environment for our students, and I look forward to working to implement this strategic plan to elevate the overall learning experience for the students of our District.  

So what is in this strategic plan?   For starters, we focus on the development of the  whole child helping them to reach their highest academic, social, emotional, intellectual and physical potential.   We want to ensure that each child is prepared for success in the 21st Century and can reach their full potential.   This means a skill set that includes problem solving, critical thinking, risk taking, collaboration, design and innovation in addition to the core academic foundations of math, science and language arts.   

How do we get there?  The strategic plan sets milestones to get us to our goal of preparing each child for the challenges they will face after their academic career.   This includes changes to the curriculum to accommodate the Common Core Standards (CCS), and a greater focus on science, technology engineering and math or STEM.  The CCS were developed by the National Governors Association and have been adopted by 45 states, including California.   They provide a clear understanding of what students need to learn to be successful in today’s world.   They are robust and relevant to the skill set needed for the 21st Century.   As these standards are implemented across our State, we have a design team working to build a PK-8 curriculum that both aligns with the standards and meets the vision of our strategic plan.  You can learn more about the CCS at www.corestandards.org.  

Professional development will be critical to our success.  We will ensure that our teachers are armed with the knowledge to teach in new ways, have access to new resources and understand how to use emerging tools.   We will also leverage technology more broadly as a tool for our students and incorporate more project-based learning to provide opportunities for meaningful challenges that enhance key skills like collaboration, communication and critical thinking.  

We will explore more personalized learning experiences for students and look at blended learning to extend educational experiences beyond the normal school day.   Finally, there is a commitment to support learners across the learning spectrum so that we are challenging each child appropriately through differentiation and other methods. 

This highlights a number of the key parts of the District’s five year strategic plan, but is by no means exhaustive. I would encourage you to read the full plan at http://www.sancarlos.k12.ca.us/strategic-plan/.   This document is something we should all be proud of as it represents a collaborative vision that will prepare San Carlos students for the future.