Overview of Educational Planning:An Educational Approach for the Future
The State College Area School District (SCASD) is developing a comprehensive update for the educational model in our high school. This building project will support flexible learning spaces that maximize student-teacher relationships to boost student growth and achievement.The district contracted the services of Brainspaces, Inc., an educational planning firm, in 2012. Brainspaces worked with our principals, teachers, students, and administration to help us evaluate our current model and update our practices to reflect the changing educational needs of students in the twenty-first century.
We began this process by developing a set of Guiding Principles that reflect deeply held beliefs regarding students’ needs at the high school level. Students, teachers and administrators collaborated to establish this set of principles, which will be the standards we strive towards as we improve our educational model.
As part of the process of improving our educational model, the district is drawing upon a body of literature regarding proven practices in 9-12 education. We must ensure that our students have the skills, knowledge, and experiences to be successful and competitive in the twenty-first century global economy. Our holistic approach will emphasize relationships among students and teachers because we know that a secure and nurturing environment will best support student learning and growth.
Principals and teachers visited a number of high-achieving high schools that were chosen for their innovative practices. These schools primarily have similar demographics to our own and more extensive STEM* opportunities for students; some are organized into types of small learning communities.We will use our studies of their practices to help us improve our own educational model.*STEM = Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Typically refers to an interdisciplinary approach to teaching across these fields.