Grant Lichtman, author, educator, and changeleader, was clear. He would only help us develop our Senior School model if we were prepared to include a large, mixed group of stakeholders.
We also needed a vision document – a North Star – so that this diverse group would be clear on where they were headed.
We drafted that document. In addition to the fundamentals shared in a previous post, the North Star for the KCS Senior School included the following essential features:
- a clear framework and process that establishes authentic student leadership in their learning and experience as the norm
- the intentional inclusion of student passions and interests in the core learning experience
- deeper learning that includes extended investigation of a topic, significant student voice and choice, expectations for creative thinking, and authentic purpose
- a nimble curriculum, timetable, and experience so there is ongoing room for student leadership, voice, choice, as well as learning across grades, across the curriculum and learning through external experts
- the intentional and regular inclusion of external experts, partners and facilities to enrich student learning through presentations, mentorships, co-op placements, field work, field trips, research and more
- the expectation that graduates have been regularly required to look at topics from different lenses (cultural, geographical, political, socioeconomic, Four Doors etc.)
- a nurturing, strong and thriving community as the foundation in which remarkable learning will take root and bloom
(From our full vision document “The Senior School to Strive For”)
Grant Lichtman has worked with hundreds of schools and thousands of educators across North America. He had the same response to our vision document as the 40 staff, parents, past parents, and board members who joined our Task Force. It was sound, it made sense, it was exceptional.
It’s what we all wished school could be.