The Two Anchors that Make or Break School Change Efforts: Shared Vision for Readiness & School Identity

Diverse group of high school graduates celebrating in their caps and gowns.

We are making decisions that impact and change a student’s life forever and if you don’t have something that you can adhere to as a school, then what are you basing those decisions on?

– Dr. Courtney Robinson


ANCHOR 1: Shared Vision for Readiness

Define and communicate the holistic set of skills that ALL students need for success.

Sees the learner as a whole person:

  • Emphasizes interpersonal, intrapersonal, and metacognitive skills
  • Values social-emotional skills and well-being
  • Supports mental and physical health

Connects to instructional core:

  • Goes beyond just stating desired student outcomes to provide clarity about the role of teachers and content in achieving success
  • Informs the development of structures and conditions to engage in professional development and collaboration
  • Results in a more coherent organization that eliminates the silos and multiple identities typically found in public school

ANCHOR 2: School Identity

Create an explicit statement of what your school stands for and where it intends to go. Visibly express the shared values, beliefs, and ways of making sense of the world that is central, distinctive, and enduring to your school.

Aligns school and community identities:

  • Accounts for the assets, strengths, and gifts of diverse students and the surrounding community
  • Opens the door to culturally inclusive learning approaches
  • Reflects the student body accurately

Requires community engagement:

  • Involves families and external stakeholders in the decision-making process, creating connections
  • Is meaningful: goes beyond surface attempts

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