The Vision 2020 planning project for Jeffco Public Schools started in January with a broad set of community representatives there to help form the vision for the future of our school system. I am involved because of my interest in education and because of my role with the Jeffco Performing Arts Advocacy Coalition. Specifically, I am to provide perspective based on the importance of music, arts, and culture. As with the other community representatives, I have been asked to reach out to as many people as possible through the advocacy coalition, and by other means, to ensure as broad-based a set of feedback as is possible.
Like many strategic planning processes, we are starting with visioning. This work will take place January through May. From the vision work, formal strategic planning will start in March and go through July. Lastly, departmental plans, school plans, professional development plans and other detailed planning will roll out from there.
In our first meeting in January, we discussed the key changes that have happened in the world in the last 30 years. The intent was to start thinking about how those changes affect what needs to be taught in our K-12 schools. We then brainstormed the key competencies a future Jeffco graduate should possess. We came up with a list of 55. That was narrowed down by the end of the meeting to a top 20 list.
For our next meeting, which is this Thursday, we were asked to go talk to our respective communities and to create a top 5 list of key competencies. Working with my community members, we have a list of 6 and we couldn’t decide which other one to drop. They are all important:
- Motivated & self-directed – Wants to always learn more.
- Creative and innovative thinker – Views issues from different perspectives, able to solve problems with creative solutions.
- Critical thinker – Effectively & efficiently takes in, processes, and draw conclusions from information.
- Cultural competency/global citizen – Possesses the ability to interact with and work effectively with people from all walks of life across the world. Possesses an understanding of the ever changing world in which we live.
- Skilled with content knowledge – Possesses knowledge about subjects such as science, math, English, finance, economics, and history. Understands when and where to look up content knowledge as needed.
- Accountability, morality, responsibility – Possesses the attributes of what we generally think of as a “good” person.
Each community representative will be bringing a similar list to Thursday’s meeting. From there, we will continue to refine these competencies and begin to fully define them.
What do you think are important competencies for a future high school graduate?