Skip to main content

Preparing Students for College and Career

Gibbon Public Schools is constantly focused on successfully preparing our students for life after high school.  Accomplishing this meaningful task requires school districts to continuously examine current practices and determine if those practices reflect what is occurring in the real-world.  We are looking at increasing academic and behavioral expectations, redesigning courses required for graduation, and connecting our curriculum to real-world experiences to determine if these experiences truly prepare students for life after high school. These goals will prove to be rewarding work that contributes to the quality of life for our students and for our community. 

In the spirit of community, Gibbon Public Schools designed a process to informally collect information from local businesses, students, faculty and staff, parents, community members, and our board of education on what they want for our school district.  This “visioning” process is the initial step to creating a 5-year strategic plan for the purpose of strengthening educational experiences for every child who attends our schools.  Through this process, we are asking representatives from each of these groups to consider excellence in the areas of school culture, academic achievement, college and career preparation, and specific structures that promote teaching and learning.  Then in each of these areas, we are asking representatives from each of those groups to share specific ideas and solutions focused on building a strong educational environment.  Although very early in the visioning process, we are beginning to identify several themes including school spirit, a need for more rigorous coursework, and a demand to address life skills.

Why is this work important?  The concept of school looks much different than it did 5 years ago, 10 years ago, or 20 years ago.  What our youngsters are expected to know and be able to do, and the skills associated with those tasks, look much different than what we expected in the past.  Consider the cellphone as an example.  The world’s first cell phone was released for purchase on March 6, 1983.  The Motorola DynaTAC 800x took 10 hours to charge, lasted 3 minutes, cost $3995, and was the size of a foot-long sub from Subway.  Today, the Apple iPhone 8 Plus can be purchased for $700, weighs just 7.13 ounces, has a 5.5” HD display, a A11 Bionic Chip with 64-bit architecture Neural engine, a 12MP wide-angle and telephoto camera, 1080p HD video recording at 30 fps, and much more. 

I’m not sure what that all means, except, the cell phone illustrates how quickly technology has evolved over time and drives home the fact that our youth require advanced skills to succeed in a highly technical world.  Therefore, schools must consider how quickly the world is changing and continuously evolve to keep up with that level of change.  Gibbon Public Schools is focused on this challenge and committed to this effort.  Please go to our district website and look for this version of Supts On.  It is our hope that you will offer your perspective and contribute your ideas to the development of our strategic plan.    


Popular posts from this blog

Thundering Herd

It has been a few weeks since I offered a SUPTs On and I apologize for failing to connect with you prior to today. However, Gibbon Public Schools has been very busy participating in planning activities designed to enhance the learning environment and educational experiences for EVERY member of our family. Since our last edition of SUPTs On, parents, students, community members, teachers, and our board of education have developed a Strategic Plan, created a collaborative planning process, and increased the number of voices involved in decisions that impact our school district and our wonderful community.

The next several editions of SUPTS On will highlight decisions made through this collaborative effort, and we want to emphasize initiatives that will be implemented during the 2018-19 school year. The reason for this approach is connected to communication and informing the community how new initiatives will impact the school district. All decisions are aligned with best practice and re…

Funding Public Education

It is that time of year when Nebraska’s Unicameral convenes to consider, debate, and take all necessary action to form new legislation and settle on a state budget. At some point, State Senators participate in conversations that focus on property taxes and funding public education. I have been a superintendent for several years, and the common themes surrounding the funding of public education traditionally include school spending, a heavy reliance on property taxes, and the state of Nebraska’s contribution to education as compared to all states across the nation. There has been finger-pointing, the alarming willingness to alter facts, and a commitment to undermine board members who have been elected by their constituents to make decisions for their school district.

This version of Supts On is intended to offer specifics regarding the condition of a budget for Gibbon Public Schools. I do not intend to point a finger; however, I do wish to highlight the reality of our particular situ…

Professional Learning Communities

Regardless of the occupation, keeping up with current trends, learning new skills, staying abreast of rules and regulations, and mastering new techniques are behaviors exhibited in all successful organizations.  Finding time when you can train staff on new techniques, introduce new skills, or learn changes to existing practice is always a challenge.  This challenge exists in the world of education as well.  Providing ongoing training for educators is absolutely critical to build knowledge and skill in the use of technology, curriculum development, instructional practices, classroom management, and keeping abreast with changes to federal and state accountability measures.  Time is required to provide training experiences so educators can build these skills, and time is necessary for teachers to collaborate with their peers on effective practice.  

Gibbon Public Schools will be implementing a concept called Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) to provide that needed time.  Experts an…