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Wednesday, December 12 , 2018, 11:34 am | Partly Cloudy 62º


Goleta Union School District Trustees Begin Review of Strategic Plan

Board members get started on going over educational goals and action plans, last updated in 2008

The Goleta Union School District Board of Trustees is getting ready to review and alter its Strategic Plan, which sets goals and action plans for the future.

It’s a time to look at the K-6 district’s mission statement — to help each student reach his or her full potential — and aspirations as an organization and for services provided to students, Superintendent Bill Banning told the board on Wednesday.

The Strategic Plan process is meant to go beyond the implementation of the new Common Core State Standards — coming in fall 2014 — and illustrate the district’s long-term vision.

With Common Core, districts will have to “rethink how we’re teaching and how we’re engaging students,” Banning said.

Board members briefly reviewed the existing goals, which were last updated in 2008.

Board member Susan Epstein said those goals — such as having every student accomplish one year of learning every year — seemed bold at the time, when there was more concern with disparities and the No Child Left Behind requirements.

Board members indicated that they don’t feel the need to completely reinvent the system, but they want to make education more interesting and engaging for students, so they emerge as critical thinkers, problem solvers and good communicators.

District officials want students to acquire knowledge and skills that can transfer to real life, according to board member Richard Mayer.

“We want kids who are going to be able to solve problems they come across in their lives,” he said. 

Goleta Union has a strong commitment to its arts, music and physical education programs for students, which have survived the brutal K-12 education cuts of the past few years.

All of the board members want to support “the whole student” and provide a well-rounded education, they said.

The existing Strategic Plan is a good place to start, Banning said, reminding the board that Goleta Union is already doing well.

Wednesday’s board meeting was just a time to start the conversation about what the new goals should be.

“Education is always a bit of a whipping boy; there’s always something more we’re supposed to be doing,” Banning said.

There will be much more discussion and work done on the revised Strategic Plan in the future.

The board also watched several videos about the challenges of 21st century education, which can be found here:

» Ken Robinson: “Changing Education Paradigms”

» EF Smithsonian: “What is 21st century education?”

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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