Preparing to embrace growth and change
With one full year under my belt as Northeast Bradford’s Superintendent, I felt it was time to revisit some of the district’s guiding principles, such as our mission, vision and goals. I believe it was imperative for administration and faculty to provide input and commitment to a renewed mindset that will prepare us for the future of education in terms of ideology and technology.
We have recently revamped the district’s mission, vision and goals, which were developed years ago by the former administration. While the overall purpose of our educational organization remains the same, the mindset and methods in which we reach that goal can vary. By developing new ways to approach instruction, discipline and administration, we challenge ourselves along with our students to embrace change.
To this end, we have decided to embrace a “growth” mindset in which we promote the constant evolution of our students, staff and organization beyond the status quo. When educators embrace a growth mindset, they believe all students can learn, and they acknowledge that learning is a collaboration, or partnership, between themselves and students. Whereas, educators with a more fixed mindset often place students in categories and believe that the responsibility of learning falls upon the students. When students embrace a growth mindset, they are rewarded for their efforts and learn to face their challenges head-on with grit and perseverance. They learn to view their failures, as well as their successes, as part of the learning process.
The district recently completed a building needs assessment. As with the growing needs of students and the ever-changing instructional pedagogy, the needs of our physical settings also require updating. The needs assessment places an emphasis on required improvements for ADA compliance, student safety and instructional requisites. Using the assessment as a guide, we will create a long-term plan that will serve the district and students for years to come.
Another way we are addressing the growing needs of the district is by performing updated student assessments. We have been looking at historical student data (such as student attendance, test scores, post-graduation plans, etc.) and working with teachers through the use of PLCs (professional learning communities) to make educational decisions to create and implement a long-range, comprehensive plan. This plan is necessary to ensure our students not only achieve state-mandated standards, but are equipped for their academic and vocational pursuits after graduation.
Although change and growth can be daunting because of the unknowns, I feel the faculty, staff, students and community are cohesively working towards a common purpose. I am pleased with our progress at this point, and I am excited for what the future holds for Northeast Bradford.