Since reaching its goal as a district of distinction, Boyle County school system is starting to work on a new “blueprint” to guide it.
On Thursday, Boyle County Leadership Academy members met with Alisa Berger, founding co-principal at New York City’s iSchool.
“It’s a strategic vision,” Superintendent Mike LaFavers explained. “What will the next four years in Boyle schools look like? These are the people that will design that.”
In order to do that, the academy will meet with each other and various national educators and speakers and possibly visit other schools. Enter Alisa Berger from the iSchool, one of the speakers who best aligned with the Boyle schools, according to LaFavers and Assistant Superintendent David Young.
“She fits us a little better, in that, she’s innovative, but it works in a system of accountability,” LaFavers said. “They measure how their innovation is working as opposed to just experimenting.”
The iSchool is a progressive school which has redefined the traditional ideals of school systems, merging those ideals with new ways of thinking about education, to “better serve 21st century students in a 21st century world.”
“It’s changing what (teachers) do, but it’s not one thing. It’s how do we use teachers differently,” Berger said, explaining they are often spread too thin.
She explained that, one way to rethink the learning experience, is to “use technology to make sure students are getting the support they need.” Berger also drew upon experiences and explanations of what works in other schools around the country, including a high school in Kentucky.
As part of this different way of viewing education, Berger introduced four pillars of examining the schools — curriculum and assessment, time, instruction, and human capital and culture.
One example she cited of thinking differently is a school which had students partake in and direct the parent-teacher conferences, encouraging children to take ownership and responsibility for their work.
After meeting with Berger, LaFavers and other educators were encouraged to consider different ways to think about their students and the education process.
While seated with other faculty members from her school, Woodlawn Elementary School Principal Lisa Adams explained that they were discussing how they could use these ideas in the coming months but more specifically in the next school year.
It is still early in the process, but LaFavers believes they will bring in more speakers to meet with the academy. Following Thursday’s meeting, the groups were expected to return to their individual schools and begin thinking outside the box. Those ideas will be brought back to the larger group.
Eventually, representatives will be chosen from each school’s group to help finalize the details on the new blueprint, which will guide the system forward, Young explained.
Boyle schools working on new `blueprint' to guide the future
Alisa Berger, founder and co-principal of the iSchool in New York City, speaks to members of the Boyle County Leadership Academy, which consists of representatives from each Boyle school.