As the saying goes, if he woke up today, schools would be one of the few places that Rip Van Winkle would recognize after his 100-year slumber. Unlike business, medicine, the media, etc., most schools look very much as they did 100 years ago. That is very much the case in the Marietta City Schools.
One of the best ways to provide an opportunity to our teachers and educational leaders to consider what 21st century academic initiatives may benefit the children in our schools is to explore, select and implement successful models of innovative schools.
Marietta City Schools is beginning the process of redesigning our schools to meet the needs of our 21st century learners. We are asking for input from community members through the formation of a "School Innovation Steering Committee." We are asking that parents and community members who are interested, contact the school at the e-mail address below.
We are exploring the following school-education innovation models:
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).
Community Wrap Around.
Institute(s) of Business and Law.
Academy of the Arts and Creative Expression.
Academy of Health Careers.
Institute(s) of Applied Science.
Academy for the Gifted and Talented.
Ninth Grade Academy.
School of Science and Medicine.
Implementation of these initiatives would further empower school principals to meet the specific needs of the children and families they serve. Because principals know more about the on-the-ground reality of their schools than anyone else, they will be given greater power over decisions relating to budgets, programs, and personnel. In exchange for this increased freedom in shaping their schools, principals will be held to higher accountability standards. Many principals will use their increased autonomy to further develop innovative practices and programs.
It has become clear that technology is part of the foundation of a 21st-century model of teaching and learning: a blend of face-to-face and online teaching, communication, and collaboration between students, educators, school leaders, parents, and educational partners. This model may just be the next game-changer when it comes to improving student achievement-and improvement is necessary if we expect our children to thrive in the 21st-century global economy.
Marietta City Schools is moving ahead to better serve our students. We encourage you to share your thoughts and ideas by serving on the "Innovative Schools Steering Committee." Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested.
Bruce Thomas is the superintendent of the Marietta City Schools and can reached at email@example.com.