Monday, April 15, 2013

Waukesha One: Moving Forward

After nearly two years of thoughtful consideration and planning by a wide variety of SDW stakeholders, the School District of Waukesha School Board members demonstrated their support for Waukesha One in an 8-0 vote last week.  In the words of Board President Daniel Warren, the momentous vote marked a "new horizon" for the school district.

The plan, centered on a personalized learning environment where each student is provided with the opportunities, options, and resources to make learning a personally meaningful and satisfying venture, signals a emphasis on providing learners the educational experience they need to be academically and professionally competitive in the 21st century.  As society, business, and academia respond to the pressures of rapidly advancing technology, globalism, and immediate access to information in our lives, schools need to reconsider their role and determine a pathway to continually meet the existing and the changing needs of our students, families, and community.  The support of Waukesha One by board members signals their awareness of the need to appropriately and meaningfully adapt our educational system for the better without disturbing our very best of practices.

Waukesha One is a statement of belief and a commitment to meeting our students' needs in a rapidly changing world -- it is not a program or an initiative.  As a result, this is not a single issue reform or change.  Waukesha One is far more focused on impacting instructional practice and delivery than it is on providing devices to students.  While some aspects of Waukesha One are more notable changes than others, the most meaningful changes are those that will take place in the classroom every day between students and teachers.  These are the interactions that have mattered most to the quality of education our students receive, and they are the interactions that will continue to matter most.  While the tools and methods used in the classroom may be enhanced, the district remains focused on placing the best instructors in front of students daily.  

To highlight the diversity of factors that the School District of Waukesha has already considered in its discussions about Waukesha One, the district has published an eBook -- Waukesha One: Keys to Success.  Astute readers will note that some of the practices outlined as keys to success have been in practice for a number of years in the School District of Waukesha.  Others are practices have recently begun or will soon be in progress.  Still others are practices that will not be points of emphasis until months and years into the future of Waukesha One.  This is a mark of sustainable planning, as Waukesha One is not a program or initiative that will simply fade away.  

To view our program overview publication, Waukesha One - Keys to Success, use one of the links below.

    iBooks Version of Waukesha One - Keys to Success (formatted for reading on an iPad)
*Hint - To open in iBooks on an iPad, users should visit the link from the Safari browser (it will not open properly from Chrome browser on an iPad)