Bethel’s FUTURESCHOOLS Tours – 2016/17

Bethel’s FUTURESCHOOLS Tours – 2016/17


The FUTURESCHOOLS tour is for the purpose of going out and seeing what schools are working on and just seeing it in action rather than just looking at it in writing. Back in the early days we used to have one person from each school bring their school improvement plan and tell us about it in a boardroom and then someone thought well we should go look and so that’s how the tours were born and now we go look. So we get to see the curriculum being used, the instructional strategies being used what they’re doing to work on school culture, just everything that they’re working on to improve student learning. The district wants community involvement. The district wants you to come and visit their schools, see what is happening that they’re not trying to shut the world out they want to welcome the community in and be involved in the schools. FUTURESCHOOLS has representatives from all over the district as far as teachers, administrators, community people, business partners, legislators, whomever is interested in making those tours with us. We just have a wide variety of people and that’s what makes it work. The more different lenses that you can look at something through, the better your results are going to be. As curriculum director, I love to see the curriculum in action. And not only that the curriculum is being well implemented, but instructional strategies are being used that really make that shift to our Common Core standards. As a parent or a community person, we get to go out and see what is happening in the schools changes that they are making, to find out what is working. We got to see every level, one high school, one middle school, and one elementary. Going into the middle school, I love the atmosphere. If you haven’t been in school, and watched students, watch teachers, since you were in school, you’d be shocked right out of your shoes because it doesn’t look like what you remember. I love how they deal with them academically, how they look at that, but also their social needs the classroom management and the engagement of students are the two things that I say are so enormously different. It just gets better all the time and I think that’s a result of intense professional development that our staff puts in, to learning what works in the classroom to keep kids engaged, to keep them interested in to, you know, keep the classroom and it really a positive place to be. And I was able to talk to parents who have children in some of the programs we looked at, or have had them in there in the past and so all of that’s just enormously valuable.


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