Vision - Northview Public Schools and its community inspire and develop literate, creative problem solvers, ready for continued learning and career success, while becoming productive, respectful members of society.
Mission - Prepare students for life’s next step.
Last June our Board of Education clarified the vision and mission of the school district. Their work in establishing very clear and concise "ends policies" (read this as "outcomes" of learning in Northview) requires us to find evidence of the vision and mission in action. Each school has a school improvement plan (SIP) outlining a goal for reading, writing, and mathematics. The respective school goals are rolled up into the district improvement plan, which is aligned with the Board of Education "ends policies." This is once example of evidence of our teaching and learning practices being articulated and aligned across grade levels and schools.
Over the first two days of this new school year, I visited our three elementary schools - North, East, and West, Highlands 5th/6th, and Crossroads Middle in search of evidence of the vision and mission in practice. I was not surprised by what I found at each school. At North Oakview, new Principal Teya Lober was in a classroom reading a book about "filling buckets" and leading a discussion about behaviors that are respectful of others. The young students in Tara Luckaart's class were engaged in problem solving how to best show behaviors that were positive in nature and helped others. Students in Kristine Wolfe's class were participating in a lesson on cross checking the pronunciation of words by utilizing hints in the text and pictures of a story so that they could be even more literate. Scott Stephens PE class reinforced the value of personal space in the classroom and playground and indicated it was a matter of being respectful of others.
At East Oakview, newly hired art teacher Elizabeth Forrest was energizing the creative juices of 1st graders as she led a compare and contrast lesson utilizing the works of Gauguin and van Gogh. She informed the kids know about the respectful friendship between Paul and Vincent. Sara Shook's students were problem solvers in a lesson related to ways to remember classmates' names. At West Oakview, principal Tricia Hampel modeled problem solving behaviors as she managed the large flow of personal vehicles and buses that arrived to transport students home at the end of the day. Many staff were outside after school making sure students boarded the right bus or car. Parent Wendy Force said she chose West because she loves the staff and how they inspire kids to be there best. Wendy was a student of mine when I was principal at Fountain Elementary.
At Highlands the lunch room staff was acclimating to a newly renovated lunch room - thanks to the community passing the building and site renewal last May - and clearly understood how a good meal increases the likelihood of student success. They serve breakfast and lunch daily. Principal Dan Duba was in the lunch line, helping students navigate the lunch room system and at the same time learning the names of all the new 5th graders. He was modeling the behavior of doing "whatever it takes" to help students be successful and productive. Nan Schanz was busy with 6th grade students in a language arts class. She was a picture of what inspire looks like in action. Students discussed why they chose a certain book and Nan continued to build the excitement about each selected book. Kathie Lewis and I discussed the data related to students who were in the reading "red zone" and how to help them become more literate readers through targeted interventions.
Crossroads also had evidence of the vision and mission in action. One math class I visited was engaged in a discussion about the earning power of people with a college education vs. those who only graduate from high school. Career success was linked to performance in the classroom. Principal Andy Scogg had visited all but three classrooms yesterday to share with students research that points to middle school being the most important time in a student's life and how work in middle school impacts the rest of your continued learning. Tami Hjelm was inspiring over 60 students in the 7th grade choir and presenting lessons on breathing techniques, holding a musical note, and how to properly assume three different singing positions.
While I have identified several staff members by name in this post, I believe I could have selected ANY staff member to visit and found evidence of the Vision and Mission in Action. Tomorrow, I visit the Northview High School and East Campus.
If you have examples of the vision and mission in action please feel free to share them with your circles of influence or email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.