WCSU STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES
by Adrienne Magida, School Board Chair
According to The Essential Work of Vermont School Boards, a manual published by the Vermont School Boards Association, "The school board is the Board of Trustees for education on behalf of the community. It is entrusted with assuring that the young people of the community receive a high quality education and that taxpayers receive an excellent return on their investment." (P.11)
There are 7 broad areas of essential work for school boards.
- Create a vision for education in the community.
- Establish policy to carry out the vision.
- Hire a superintendent.
- Monitor progress toward the vision (develop a set of student learning outcomes).
- Develop and adopt a budget to support the vision.
- Engage the community.
- Fulfill other legally-mandated responsibilities.
On May 25, The WCSU Full Board took an enormous step forward to realizing one of these areas. They adopted a set of Student Learning Outcomes, which will guide the work of all curriculum and assessment development in WCSU. Three years ago, the U-32 School Board began a discussion about what students should know and be able to do when they graduate from U-32. A set of learning outcomes was adopted by the U-32 Board a year ago. But, the Board and administration agreed that if these outcomes were to be successful, the elementary schools should also have the same outcomes, so that expectations are the same for students across the supervisory union. The U-32 Board has spent the last year working with the elementary school boards to create one set of learning outcomes that would be satisfactory to all the boards. The Learning Outcomes that were adopted on May 25 align with the Educational Quality Standards set by the State of Vermont and the U-32 Proficiency-Based Graduation Requirements that align closely with the Transferable Skills.
WCSU Student Learning Outcomes
WCSU exists to nurture and inspire in all students the passion, creativity and power to contribute to their local and global communities. More specifically, WCSU students will meet or exceed rigorous standards for:
Core knowledge of essential academic subjects, including:
- Mathematical Content and Practices
- Scientific Inquiry and Content Knowledge
- Global Citizenship (including foreign language)
- Physical Education and Health
- Artistic Expression
- Financial Literacy
Transferable skills and behaviors that prepare them for life-long learning and success including:
- Creative and Practical Problem Solving
- Effective and Expressive Communication
- Engaged Citizenship
- Working Independently and Collaboratively
- Informed, Integrated and Critical Thinking
- Self Awareness and Self-Direction
With the WCSU Student Learning Outcomes in place, the next step for boards will be to determine how to monitor student progress by identifying the information, data and reports the administration will provide to boards on an ongoing basis. This is exciting and challenging work but work that we hope will move our students to a higher level of achievement.