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Superintendent's Column: Creating equitable programming and Pathways for all District 191 students

Superintendent Dr. Theresa BattleImagine if you didn’t have to worry about which school your child attends. Wherever they go, they find welcoming, caring, talented teachers and staff. They have opportunities to explore STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) in ways that develop the ability to ask meaningful questions and solve difficult problems. They experience music, drama and arts in ways that spark creativity and connect them to cultures around the world. They are challenged with project-based learning driven by their interests and passions. They have access to rigorous learning that helps them reach their full potential. 

And as a parent, you see a pathway for your child to be successful through high school and beyond. 

You couldn’t make a wrong decision for your child, because all students would have equal access to programming and a welcoming, safe environment. 

At the December meeting of the District 191 Board of Education, this is the picture of District 191 schools that we presented, focusing on our elementary schools first. 

The model - which we’re calling Pathways K-12 - builds on the work we are already doing in elementary schools, including our successful new literacy curriculum, Makerspaces at every school, and digital literacy curriculum. And it also aligns with the Pathways model at Burnsville High School that helps students find their passions, understand how classes and careers fit together, and prepare for success after graduation. 

Our plan is to expand that successful model to include all grade levels. So now, every elementary site will have rich experiences and targeted exposure to all four Pathways:

  • Arts, Communications and Literacy
  • Design, Engineering and STEM
  • Health, Wellness and Social-Emotional Learning, and
  • Entrepreneurship.

That means every site will have STEM experiences, every site will have arts and technology experiences, and every school will provide enrichment for our gifted and talented students. No matter what site your children attend in District 191, they will be part of these rich Pathway experiences. 

There’s more to this than can be explained in an article. We will be gathering more input about these exciting opportunities from students, parents and staff. And we will be presenting more information at school parent meetings over the next several weeks. 

The following meetings are already planned and more will be added:

  • Harriet Bishop: Jan. 21 at 5 p.m.
  • Vista View: Jan. 30 at 6:30 p.m.
  • William Byrne: Feb. 4 at 7 p.m.
  • Gideon Pond: Feb. 10 at 9:30 a.m.
  • Gideon Pond: Feb. 11 at 6:30 p.m.
  • Sioux Trail: Feb. 11 at 6:30 p.m.
  • Hidden Valley: Feb. 20 at 6 p.m.
  • Edward Neill: March 12 at 6:30 p.m.
  • Sky Oaks: March TBD

If you are not able to attend one of the meetings, learn more about Pathways K-12

As a district we are committed to providing an equitable, rigorous and aligned education that ALL students can access, and with this plan, we’ll be delivering on that commitment.

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Posted: Wednesday, January 15, 2020 - 16:44