At the annual State of the Schools address in late October, I had the honor of revealing the Hilliard City School District's Next X plan. This strategic vision sets the course for our schools for the next decade.
Our kindergarten students, the class of 2032, require more from us. The world is changing rapidly; education also must change to meet the needs of our students.
Hilliard's 2020 Plan guided our efforts from 2010 to 2020. Hilliard has innovated, personalized and focused.
From the opening of the Innovative Learning Center and Innovation Hub to the implementation of a One2One program, your district has shifted education.
The next date, 2020 to 2030, is going to demand new changes. Research is clear: The brains of students today have evolved. Students don't have the attention spans of previous generations.
As I shared at the State of the Schools, "We need to shift learning from something done to students to students doing the learning."
Change is uncomfortable; change can create fear and anxiety. We know many parents want "school to look like school when they were students." There is comfort in the familiar.
Your district isn't going to start changing without you; we need you to be part of each conversation. We need our community to engage in active dialogue, to be open-minded with options and to be visionary in what we need from our schools. We are on a journey together – a journey to prepare each individual student to be ready for tomorrow.
We have amazing, talented teachers in our classrooms. Our teachers are the most critical resource in our schools. We continue to ask more and more from our professional staff. We need to provide time and continued professional development for our team. Teachers need more time for collaboration and reflection. The structure and systems need to evolve and change.
The next decade will bring discussion about both our school year and school day.
We know that taking off significant time in the summer is poor educational practice. Our school calendar is the remnant of an agrarian society. Our school day is part of the fabric in our schedule as parents. We need to provide flexible, productive educational opportunities for families to extend the traditional school day.
When we live our growth mindset, we reflect on existing practices to improve educational outcomes. Together, as a community, we must clarify our expectations and set clear goals.
What do we expect for the class of 2025? The class of 2030? We shouldn't have the same expectations that we have for this year's class of 2020. We must evolve, improve and grow.
Each year, we create the Yearly Commitment Plan. This plan sets clear, measurable goals for the specific school year. This plan is public and available on our website, hilliardschools.org.
Each year, we publish the Quality Profile, a document derived from our commitment plan.
We publish both a midyear progress update and a yearly update on our goals.
We pledge to be transparent in our process and open with our progress. Each year's commitment plan, aligned with the Next X vision, is focused on what is required for each student to be ready for tomorrow.
As a district, as a Hilliard community, we will embrace the required changes in our schools.
We will be open and engaging in the process.
We will have clarity of purpose and accountability for performance.
We will be responsible stewards of your tax dollars; we invest your resources in alignment with our goals.
We will hold ourselves accountable for meeting our goals. When we fall short, which we will at times, we will make corrections.
Change is part of life. We don't fear it; we embrace it. As Tim Kight reminded our staff at Hilliard U, "Stop asking people to change – show them how."
As a district, innovation and change are in our DNA. We are blessed to be able to do the work for our children.
Hilliard City Schools Superintendent John Marschhausen writes the Hilliard Schools Connection guest column for the ThisWeek Hilliard Northwest News.