3 Big Plays: Highlight Your Vision for Readiness in Your School Culture

Six high school students sitting outside on steps smiling, talking, and looking at books and laptops.

Content without purpose is only trivia.

– Steve Revington

These three suggestions are easy Big Plays to move your school’s vision forward.

Link Student Experience to Your Vision for Readiness

Employ “macro-structures” that link the student experience through the lens of your vision for readiness. Use reflective practices that start in 9th grade and culminate with a senior capstone project.

For example, Savanna High School in Anaheim has a Capstone Project where students reflect on their work starting in 9th grade using the schools shared student learning capacities. For their senior exit interview, they create a portfolio of these reflections to share their growth with a panel of adults from the community.

Rally Around a Focus

Implement a strategy to a schoolwide focus by expanding a strength already within your school community, or developing a new focus based on the feedback from your students, staff, and families. This could require a restructuring of the master schedule or developing a schoolwide career pathways program.

Exploring ways of integrating the arts, or design-thinking into the experience of every student at your school by adding more culturally responsive courses like a Hip Hop & Literature course in the English department. This example would require curriculum development. It also might include conducting a student survey about their interests in order to offer courses or experiences that are engaging and relevant to them.

Shift Your Grading Structure

Shift to a grading structure where students’ grades are inclusive of both content knowledge AND student learning outcomes such as collaboration and critical thinking. A vital step in this process is working with staff to determine what grading for specific student outcomes, such as communication looks like, and then ensuring that students have a clear understanding of this as well.

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