Fostering Lifelong Learning

This has certainly been one of those springs with which Wisconsinites are all too familiar-it feels more like December, with the warm days and green grass seeming very far away. Although we cannot predict exactly when spring will start this year, we do know that in just a few short weeks, the class of 2013 graduates will walk across the stage to accept their well-deserved diplomas.
Anyone who has spent time with me has heard me talk about the exciting changes taking place in education. In recent years, schools across the country-especially at MAPS-have raised the bar related to what students should know and do by the time they graduate. They have provided for the unique skills and challenges of each student, ensured that learning is individualized and relevant and that progress is measured. These are exciting changes, to be sure.
However, the needs of our society and our economy require us to do even more as a district. The fact is that students who enter high school now will at some time in their lives work in jobs that have not yet been created and possibly in industries that do not yet exist. This exerts enormous pressure on our schools.
It’s the school district’s job to ensure that our students have the knowledge and skills they will need for their careers, but more than that, it is to ensure that they have the ability to relearn as jobs and the economy change.
MAPS classrooms are responding to this challenge. In our district, teaching and learning focuses on rigorous academics, the application of knowledge and helping students learn how to learn. This often takes place through hands-on learning projects that help students solve challenging real-life problems.
If you are a parent, you likely know about the various ways in which students learn in the district. If you don’t, I encourage you to ask a MAPS student you know about what and how they are learning. I bet you will be impressed, just as I was when I began working in the district last summer as interim superintendent.
With that, I will conclude as I always do, by thanking you for the opportunity to serve your community this school year.
Best wishes for a great spring (whenever it gets here)!

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