District Vision Statement from the Superintendent
Written by...Dr. Michele M. Balliet, Superintendent
My vision for our district is underscored by my strong belief that schools should be about LEARNING: learning for and with students; for and with adults; as well as for and with the larger community. However, I believe the priority of our K-12 public schools should always be on our students and providing them with the environment, experiences and opportunities they need for success in their futures. Investing (economically, socially, emotionally and cognitively) in our students is investing in our future workforce, leaders, decision makers and responsible citizens.
As a school district, we will be an integral part of the larger community, recognizing that healthy schools are a direct reflection of a healthy community and vice versa.
In the community, Elizabethtown Area School District will not be the only entity caring for the education, health and well-being of our youth. We will continue to engage in effective partnerships with parents/ caregivers, outside organizations and agencies to ensure that our children have the foundation necessary for the greatest opportunities for success. Therefore, we will maintain focus on our responsibility of providing a high quality, public education, embracing all 4A’s of ACADEMICS; THE ARTS; ATHLETICS/ EXTRACURRICULARS AND ALTRUISM.
At EASD, students and staff are energized, engaged and motivated to come to our schools to learn both individually and together. We will foster environments and promote conditions where all learners develop a sense of purpose, ownership, agency and responsibility to truly grow in their own learning and understanding. Our efforts will focus on developing competencies versus an emphasis on credit attainment. We will accomplish this through personalized learning (21st century skills and processes) by capitalizing on the 4 C’s of collaboration, communication, critical thinking and creativity. Every person within our organization-- our students, our professional staff, support staff and administrative leaders---will proactively seek ways to expand and improve their own thinking/ understanding; their own performance; our processes and techniques. Students and staff will have options as to where their learning and work takes place. Technology will be used as just one of the tools in leveraging this knowledge and understanding, continually focusing on the human element of our work. In a nurturing environment, healthy risk taking and failing forward will be promoted, encouraged, supported and celebrated at all levels with both students and staff.
We recognize that our world is rapidly changing. As a result, we understand that we are preparing students for a world which now relies on flexibility, innovation and critical thinking. We will not be promoting industrial mindsets, routine processes and rote skills. We recognize that in an instantaneous, information rich world, all learning cannot be measured just by what can be counted or what can be “Googled”. In our district, our learners will be encouraged and supported in utilizing design thinking mentalities. Promoting “Thinking like a Designer” mentality will require both our students and our staff (otherwise known as designers) to identify and define problems that truly need to be addressed. As a result, “the designers” will need to:
- identify with the persons involved in the problem,
- they will need to ideate (summarize, interpret, form thoughts about) the data collected surrounding the identified problem;
- prototype/ develop models of potential solutions, and
- test the prototypes that are developed,
- re-engineering when necessary.
By embracing a “design thinking” mentality, we will actively participate in developing productive citizens who can synthesize interdisciplinary content in a relevant and useful manner and not just students who can answer questions on a given test.
Our public schools, especially those in EASD must be places where we shape, grow, guide, and prepare the future workforce, decision makers and leaders regardless of political, economic, religious, and social beliefs or biases. As an organization, we will be respectful of the needs of our stakeholders and attempt to achieve the delicate balance of what we can provide based upon funding and what our students need in order to be prepared for their future. Decisions will not be made solely from the lens of the taxpayer but will be made through the lens of an educational entity that is responsible for educating ALL learners to be LIFE ready. Collaboration will need to be inherent in our decision making processes at all levels.
Being a member of the Elizabethtown Area School District will be a conscious choice. Members of the Elizabethtown Area School District will be proud to be a part of this organization because collectively we are achieving our mission of “Every student graduates ready to live, learn and thrive in a global community.”