Wayland Superintendent Paul Stein has responded to a request to accelerate his development of goals for the school system, and last week presented seven goals.
“I don’t necessarily consider this the final project," Stein said. "This is certainly something that should involve an exchange of views.”
Stein said he approached the goal formation with five key concepts in mind:
- Continuity. The goals should show continuity with last year's goals.
- Focus. The goals should be clear and clearly communicated. “I tried to make an effort to reduce the number of goals to focus people’s energies,” Stein said.
- Altitude. "If they’re not audacious enough, they’re probably not worth having as a goal,” Stein said, explaining that he wanted the goals to be challenging yet attainable.
- Resonance. "It ought to resonate in each and every [school] building and if for some reason it can’t, it probably shouldn’t be a system-wide goal."
- Measurement. Results should be measurable.
He separated his goals into two groups: five system-wide goals and two central office driven goals.
1. Implement a system-wide Response to Intervention (RTI) program. “We’re creating an integrated system that uses all of these aspects that we’ve come to understand in the profession as best practices," Stein said. “This goal to me is the state of the art in terms of where education is at."
2. Enhance health and wellness education. Stein said progress had already been made toward this goal, "but not nearly as much" as is needed.
3. Further use technology to improve student proficiency with knowledge and skills. Stein said the implementation of the 1-to-1 laptop initiative at Wayland High School made this goal particularly important as the system works to define what students should know and understand about technology in addition to core curriculum.
4. Narrow the achievement gap.
5. Prepare for implementation of the state-mandated Educator Evaluation Framework.
Central Office Driven Goals
1. Continue improving fiscal operations, particularly in the areas of transparency, efficiency and accountability.
2. Examine the utilization of elementary space and determine options and priorities with a cost/benefit analysis for each option. Stein pointed out that an elementary space utilization task force has been established, but additional volunteers to serve on it are still needed.
Stein acknowledged that particular goals from the past are missing, such as a goal of developing global citizens, but said that was intentional.
"We really do not have a system-wide initiative going on around global citizenry," Stein said. "We have to make sure that we don’t fill the plate too much and overwhelm people.”
School Committee member Malcolm Astley said he approved of the idea of focusing the goals, but wanted to ensure that the end result of each goal directly impacted students in the classrooms.
Astley urged that the goals be realistic and "drilled down" to the student level, or thrown out if that proved impossible.
School Committee members agreed to spend some time looking over the goals and revisit them with their thoughts at a later date.