By BRAD KEITH
STEPHENVILLE (October 16, 2017) — There is a common theme that stands out in the Stephenville ISD district improvement plan and each of its campus improvement plans that superintendent Matt Underwood and the six campus principals presented Monday to district trustees during their regular monthly board meeting at Bond Auditorium.
All six campuses and the administration vowed to further increase digital learning opportunities without turning away from core values and principals central to the safe and happy living of all generations not just those being educated in the 21st century.
The board unanimously accepted and adopted the plans, placing accountability on Underwood, district administrators, principals and other campus leaders to see they are brought to fruition.
The improvement plans – linked above and below – reinforce the districtwide commitment to several digital learning initiatives – the iChampion effort to reach a 1-to-1 ratio of digital learning devices-to-students, the implementation of Blended Learning, meeting all membership requirements of the League of Innovative Schools and becoming a Certified Digital Citizenship School as designated by Common Sense Media.
The district plan is worded to show its intent to provide for the continued education and training of faculty and staff in these areas, arming them to execute the campus plans aimed more directly at students.
‘David’s Law’ concerning bullying another overlapping topic as campuses focus not just on abiding by the law but by working progressively toward creating a bullying-free learning environment where students feel safe physically and emotionally.
The Central Elementary plan pertaining students still in their formative years focuses on working more with the Foster’s Home and ECI to be better prepared for students and the monitoring of their progress, increasing participation in the parent-teachers organization, updating resources for math, social studies bilingual and bilingual literacy and increasing principal communication.
The Chamberlin first-and-second grade plan cites the acquisition of digital materials to support Blending Learning, BrainPop, Reading A-Z, Overdrive and Explain Everything, and a commitment to scheduling peer observations (teachers observing one another) twice each semester. Fun ways to involve parents are included along with math, science, reading and the prevention of bullying.
The Hook plan for third and fourth graders cites much of the district plan and also vows to maximize the partnership with IBM Watson to “leverage content, curriculum, and resources to build personalized student profiles to individualize and enhance the learning experience.”
Hook also emphasizes reading and math as well the Hook Culture by implementing the “‘Move the bus’ idea of working toward a common goal,” and prioritizing programs such as The Four Gs: Grace, Gratitude, Growth and Grit; and Capturing Kids’ Hearts, which addresses social and emotional issues.
Henderson Junior HIgh is adjusting its SWARM class to increase student-owned plans for self-improvement through self-reflection and establishing a pertinent plan of action. Student engagement focusing on learning through collaboration and creative and critical thinking will be emphasized, particularly in gifted and talented students with Texas Future Problem Solving, a longstanding ultra-competitive activity aimed at enhancing progressive thought processes by researching and solving tomorrow’s troubles today.
Reading, especially for ESL students is a point of emphasis, along with improving attendance.
The high school plan, first and foremost, reiterates a commitment to core values and technology, as well as student engagement through new programs such as the bass club. Community and parent relations concerning modern social dangers like texting, sexting and more are cited, along utilizing outside partnerships to increase hands-on learning opportunities.