Superintendent's Blog
Dr. Marilyn Tencza

Recent Posts
December 2017 - Posts

Welcome to my new blog. With this forum, my mission is to enlighten people about the larger issues facing public education and why they matter to the Leicester School District. As we strive to improve our schools, I invite parents, educators, and the wider community to join me in exploring these issues.

Over the next few months, I will refer to the work of Doctor William Daggett, Founder and Chairman of the International Center for Leadership in Education (ICLE) whose mission isto challenge, inspire, and equip today’s educators...and to prepare students for lifelong success.”

Today’s Topic: Characteristics of Model Schools

Dr. Daggett first developed the concept of Model Schools in 1991, defining them as “schools that are experiencing rapid growth in student achievement; schools that are deliberately working to shift the culture to one of high expectations for ALL students; or schools that are working through challenges…and are beating the odds.”

Schools that meet the Model Schools criteria:

  1. Use credible data to make significant improvements.

  2. Turn their passion for teaching and learning into actions that result in student success.

  3. Focus on what matters most - the students - their social-emotional development through strong positive relationships.

  4. Always look forward to meeting the challenging demands of an ever-changing world.

  5. Use specific and adaptable strategies to create a positive learning environment with high expectations.

  6. Publicize success beyond the walls of the school by using modern channels of communication including social media.

  7. Apply the concepts of rigor, relevance, and relationships to all students, creating equitable learning opportunities for everyone.

  8. Celebrate diversity and actively work towards closing opportunity gaps among various demographic groups.

Since 1991, Dr. Daggett and ICLE have brought together many Model Schools from around the world to attend conferences in which they showcase their journey towards becoming Model Schools and share best practices with schools pursuing the Model Schools designation.

What does this have to do with Leicester?

According to Dr. Daggett, the schools that experience rapid growth teach ALL students and experience remarkable results in teaching and learning. Through rigorous lessons, students become creators, designers, inventors, and researchers. They are able to build their ideas using higher-order skills. As I visit classrooms around the district, I see lessons that ask students to tackle real-world problems and that require students to collaborate with one another, to use technology, and to use data to make informed decisions.

Student engagement is visible in classrooms where students are working together to solve real-world problems.  Technology is a staple; students are collaborating with each other using 21st Century tools including Google classroom to extend education beyond the four walls of the classroom.

In June of 2017, a group of Leicester educators attended the Model Schools Conference and heard Dr. Daggett’s message firsthand.  They attended workshops such as, Digital Leadership: Changing Paradigms for Changing Times, Transforming Your School:  Reimagining Flexible Learning Spaces, and Transforming Teaching and Learning for the 21st Century.  The group brought back the concepts and are working with teachers and administration to integrate these best practices into classrooms across the district.

Richard Riley, Secretary of Education under President Clinton noted, “We are currently preparing students for jobs that don’t yet exist . . . using technologies that haven’t yet been invented . . . in order to solve problems we don’t even know are problems yet”. Like Daggett’s Model Schools, our district strives to set high expectations so that we can offer ALL students a relevant and rigorous education. We have our challenges, but we continually “beat the odds” because we have strong, creative teachers and staff, willing and capable learners, and the support of the people of Leicester. These winning elements foster an environment where students are ready for next steps and a future that is at once uncertain and intriguing.

Go Deeper

Learn more about Dr. William Daggett HERE.

Get Dr. Daggett’s article on Model Schools HERE.

Posted by berthiaumej  On Dec 12, 2017 at 10:32 AM 116 Comments
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