The strategic design team is continuing to work on creating a vision statement for the school, eliciting the feedback gathered from the school’s constituents, including faculty, alums, board of trustees, parents, and students. They have met with these groups and held visionary exercises and discussions aimed at assessing the curriculum and reflecting on what we as a school do well and what we can do moving forward.
English teacher and team member Ron Monroe said that the team is nearing the end of the whole process. “The design team has been working through a series of iterations or versions of the strategic design statement and the priorities moving forward,” he said. “We have been sharing these iterations with a variety of people – faculty, students, parents, trustees, alums – and as we hear from them, we go back and rework our statement.”
The team plans to present the final version of their statement to the Board of Trustees and Head of School Tom Dillow on Jan. 30. “I think it is really exciting, and the elements of the design will take advantage of what the school does well already,” Mr. Monroe said, “while also augmenting that and adding to it.”
Board of Trustees member Mary Martin said there have been some central trends in the data collected that will be presented in the vision statement and list of priorities. “There is a sense is that we have to introduce opportunities for interdisciplinary learning,” she said. “Also, there is a lot of work being done on how students learn, and there is research that people learn better if it is a project based and more hands-on.”
The plan will also include more involvement and outreach in the Greater Harford community. “Whether it be a non-profit, or an internship, it is important to take what students are learning in the classroom and use it in some way, making it more real-world,” Ms. Martin said. “We have to leverage our location, because we are a day school located near a city that has a lot to offer, and we have a lot to give.”
Ms. Martin said that this naturally calls for some curricular development to involve local organizations, as well as some faculty professional development in accordance with the curriculum changes.
Mr. Monroe said it’s really been about moving the school forward. “Nothing is broken; we are just trying to make it better and more amenable to the needs of the 21st century in terms of education.”Ms. Martin said she agreed that with the vision statement, the team is working on improving KO. “We have to articulate to people what’s different about KO,” she said.