Having just graduated over 460 students between West Bloomfield High School and Oakland Early College, it is appropriate at this time of year to emphasize our vision for each of our students. We refer to this vision as our “Portrait of a Graduate”.
Successful school districts, like successful organizations, thrive when they have a clear and compelling vision. The vision sets the direction for all shareholders as they collectively contribute to the organization’s success. In the West Bloomfield School District, the Portrait of a Graduate is the driving force that focuses, aligns and energizes our important work in developing students to “…be Their Best IN and For the World!”
Our vision statement for the district states, “We will develop socially responsible
citizens empowered to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing global society, and who are characterized by curiosity, creativity, critical thinking and the ability to effectively communicate and collaborate.” This year we have focused our work around introducing the core competency skills and dispositions we want every student to master before graduating. As they master these competencies and dispositions (the 4Cs), students will demonstrate the ability to be:
- COLLABORATORS when they work in pairs or groups to discuss an issue, solve a problem, and/or create a product; students are collaborating skillfully when they resolve controversy and conflict through negotiation.
- CRITICAL THINKERS AND CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVERS when they systematically go beyond knowledge reproduction to analyze, synthesize, evaluate or organize information in ways that generate understandings that are new to them.
- COMMUNICATORS when they connect and share ideas, and when they choose the right medium(s) to express their thoughts.
- CONTRIBUTORS when they positively impact the surrounding community & world by proactively applying personal awareness and relational skills and also when they implement routines and processes for stress management & self-care; autonomy & accountability; hope & perseverance; and embracing change & conflict.
In order to more explicitly focus our work around the Portrait of a Graduate,
composed of the 4Cs, we have developed clear school district goals that align our collective work. Those goals include:
- Foster the development of the Portrait of a Graduate’s four dispositions that lead to globally competitive graduates through the personalization of learning, attainment of core competencies and authentic learning experiences.
- Create a culture of learning and leadership in every school that empowers learners and leaders.
- Redesigned curriculum and instruction that is relevant, rigorous and personalized; aligned instructionally from pre-kindergarten through graduation and customized to learning environments that reflect today’s learners.
- Effective communication to and from all West Bloomfield Schools shareholders that is timely and relevant and that creates opportunities for involvement for all.
- Organizational effectiveness that strengthens strategic planning and provides leadership at all levels of the school system, with performance indicators including fiscal responsibility that ensures resources are aligned to district goals and facility management.
Action plans are being created for each of these goals. These collaboratively
developed action plans will be systemically executed, with regular progress reports provided to the Board of Education and the general public.
The overarching goal is to create alignment between our vision, our planning, our resource utilization and our actions. By doing so, we will explicitly meet the
learning and development needs of each of our students, as we accomplish our
mission “…to develop socially responsible citizens empowered to meet the
challenges of our ever-advancing global society.”
We are energized and excited to execute this work as we strive to continually contribute to the West Bloomfield School District’s legacy of excellence.