Planning for a Wonderful Learning Experience

Planning for a Wonderful Learning Experience
Posted on 10/03/2014

Over the next several weeks meetings are being held in the School District of the Menomonie Area to update our school district’s strategic plan and continue “The Great Conversation”.  School officials continue to engage school district stakeholders in an effort to ensure that our resources are well aligned with the expectations of our community.  This week’s column will focus on Learning Experience goals included in the plan.

The main objective of the Learning Experience portion of our strategic plan has to do with improving academic outcomes for all students and ensuring student engagement and achievement by strengthening curriculum, instruction, assessment, and accountability systems in the school district.  Since the plan was first implemented in 2012, much has been accomplished in this area.  New processes have been established for reviewing and evaluating curriculum, professional development for school district employees has been prioritized in many areas, the new statewide educator effectiveness evaluation system has been implemented, and teaching strategies have been updated to reflect current best practices.  Some of the new programs and strategies that have been adopted by the school district include blended virtual courses, multiage classrooms, looping teachers over multiple years with particular groups of students, and early bird course offerings.

The next steps recommended in a recent meeting of the Learning Experience Action Team include integrating more strategies to personalize learning experiences for our students, implementing an optional language immersion program at the elementary school level, and continuing work to improve the consistency and effectiveness of curriculum and instruction in the area of math.  Other ambitious ideas discussed by the team include expanding summer school programming to reduce the “summer slide”, and taking a comprehensive look at the school district calendar to identify where possible improvements could be made. 

Recommendations from the teams working on other areas of the strategic plan will be included in upcoming editions of this School Crossings column.  Also, a summative report of all recommendations for updating the strategic plan will be presented to the school board at a meeting scheduled for 5:00 p.m. on Monday, November 24, 2014.  Should anyone wish to provide additional input, or if you are unable to attend the scheduled meetings, please feel free to send your comments to my attention at the Administrative Service Center located at 215 Pine Avenue NE in Menomonie.