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.