In his book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
(Covey, 1989), Stephen Covey shares what he believes are the seven core principles people must have in order to be successful. His theories have certainly resonated with folks over the past quarter of a century as evidenced by the more than 25 million copies of the book that have been sold. It is interesting how similar the core principles espoused by Covey are to those espoused by Simon Sinek’s, Start With Why
, the book USD 345 district leadership has been studying. Let’s spend a moment looking at two important components of both books that run parallel to each other.
In Start With Why, Sinek builds an argument about the importance of beginning with “Why.” Why do we do what we do? In 7 Habits, Covey calls this, “beginning with the end in mind.” Both authors illustrate this point with a bullseye graphic. Sinek calls this graphic the “Golden Circle” of Why, How, and What. Covey refers to this as our “Circle of Influence.” Both authors articulate how important it is to start in the center, forcing us to understand why we do what we do and how that clarity can influence others. “Beginning with the end in mind” and “starting with why” informs all of us where we are going and why we are going there.
The work on our action plan should begin with the end in mind which is ensuring the success of each student. This is why we do what we do. However, starting with why and beginning with the end in mind might be the easy part. The hard work will continue as we ensure we are getting the right pieces in place so every child succeeds. Our current district action plan
, Learning Without Limits, contains seven goals. It’s time to consider Learning Without Limits 2.0.
Learning Without Limits Goals
1. All Students Achieve At Full Potential
2. College & Career Readiness Programs/Initiatives
3. Increase Capacity in Early Childhood Education
4. All Teachers and Staff Are Highly Effective
5. Maintain and Repurpose Facilities
6. Provide a Top Quality Education Through Effective & Efficient Fiscal Management
7. Improve District Communication With All Stakeholders
In June 2016, the Kansas State Board of Education approved the new K-12 accreditation model referred to as Kansas Education Systems Accreditation
(KESA). KESA embodies much of what our district has already been working on regarding the goals of our district action plan. Now we can align our goals with the five results outcomes defined in KESA.
5 State Outcomes
Kindergarten readiness is an important building block for a student’s future achievement and success.
Individual Plan of Study Focused on Career Interest
An Individual Plan of Study (IPS) can help all Kansas students obtain a suitable vision of their path toward college and career readiness.
High School Graduation Rates
It is imperative to increase the percentage of students who earn at least a high school diploma so we can meet the projected education requirements for our future workforce.
The state will need more students not just enrolling in postsecondary programs, but completing a credential to meet the workforce needs in Kansas.
Social-Emotional Growth Measured Locally
Social-Emotional learning is the process through which students and adults acquire the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions; set and achieve positive goals; feel and show empathy for others; establish and maintain positive relationships; and make responsible decisions.
According to the state board, these five outcomes define success for each student in Kansas. How will we do this in Seaman USD 345?
• We will expand preschool
• We will increase hands on learning at all schools
• We will provide career exploration opportunities in our elementary schools
• We will offer more courses in the 16 Career Clusters (see chart) at SMS, SHS, and Washburn Tech
• We will offer more college credit bearing courses at SHS
• We will monitor and support the social and emotional well being of our students
Several parts have been cast creating the vision and goals for our schools; yet, there are still many parts to play at school, at home, in your business, in our churches, civic groups, and other locations throughout our community. We will all have a part in Learning Without Limits 2.0.