Every day, amazing educators are making change happen in their classrooms, and they can tell you about the immense challenges of shifting practices. Change at the classroom level is difficult enough, but attempting to make those changes across a school is even more complex. Educators have varied assignments— often by grade level, subject area, or both—and schedules are typically not designed to promote cross-functional collaboration.
Strategies to Transform Your District Now
School leaders are often pulled in many directions and very frequently find themselves dealing with urgent situations that make it difficult to focus on sustainable, future-oriented efforts.
This has led to a perception amongst district leaders that it is nearly impossible to transform a host of schools of varying complexions and configurations. In other words, the further one zooms out from the classroom, the more overwhelming the change process can appear.
And yet, the greatest risk for our learners arises from an educational experience that was designed for an industrial age that is long past. Teaching our kids to be compliant factory workers in an assembly-line model is not likely to prepare them for future success. The next transformation in public education will be to shift from mass production to mass personalization, and this new era will improve the quality and flexibility of experiences for all learners.
When Superintendent Devin Vodicka arrived at the Vista School District it was facing numerous challenges: declining enrollment, financial difficulties, strained labor relations, significant turnover and unresolved lawsuits. Tasked with the monumental challenge to better serve the 25,000 students from linguistically, culturally and economically diverse backgrounds, Devin led a strategic planning initiative that engaged a broad group of district and community stakeholders. Through collaborative and reflective change management, the Vista School District became an award-winning district and a model for educational excellence, innovation, and digital learning. Most importantly, it resulted in major improvements across every academic and behavioural metric, from college readiness to truancy.
In this guide, district and school leaders will learn the change-management strategies that help pave the way for successful transformation in schools.
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