Seek and infuse innovation across our district’s programming and practices
Schools districts throughout the State and across the Nation are constantly uncovering and proving out exciting new initiatives. One of the most wonderful aspects of K-12 districts (as contrasts with for-profit businesses) is that when they launch a successful program, they are more than willing to share every detail so that other districts can benefit. My perception is that a significant part of the challenge is researching and conducting proper due diligence on the wide range of initiatives that are put into practice.
I’d like to advocate for a designated special committee of community members to source and present the best ideas they can find in districts throughout the US. There are so many bright and thoughtful community members who are looking for a way to positively contribute to the Westfield schools. I can think of no better way to harness that generosity than by mobilizing it to source the best of the best ideas.
Some areas that I believe we might be able to benefit from the findings of other districts include:
- Finding effective ways to reduce the stress and anxiety that is ever present in students throughout K-12 today (especially in grades 9-12). There is substantial research about the impacts that initiatives like Block scheduling and Enrichment mornings have on students in their district.
- Investing in effective programming for parents that better prepares them to deal with pressures and challenges their children will face in a constantly evolving environment.
- Evaluating the best way to prepare students to thrive in the workplace of 2025-2040. It seems that we are at a time that every 5-7 years many professions transform, and a constant stream of research and communication to update the Board and community on these changes can be impactful.
- Equipping students with many of the “soft” skills so necessary to successfully negotiate their personal and professional lives (active listening, reading body language, empathy)