Curriculum Committee Turns on Lighthouse – 2012
On June 11, 2012, the Bloomfield Hills School District Curriculum Committee turned on its “lighthouse” for the summer season. The Curriculum Committee was established through the district’s partnership with the community. Twelve people braved the summer heat to brainstorm how the district could build a national network of high performing school districts. The gist of the idea, which originated in the district’s ten year strategic planning process, is to bring together excellent school districts from across the nation to share best practices between administrators, teachers and the COMMUNITY. Granted, there is considerable information sharing between the “professionals” at conferences and symposiums, but how often do just plain community folks get to participate? Hardly ever, would be my guess. Some cool ideas emerged from the brainstorming session, including:
- Looking for high performing districts in university towns, like Seattle or Palo Alto, that are near large, innovative corporations.
- Using tools like webinars to save travel costs.
- Sharing information on community involvement, financial management, and dealing with state legislatures.
- And asking the BIG questions, like: “How does your district identify a successful student?”
At the end of the meeting, which I facilitated, I asked the team members to find a word that described their feelings about the process, and the most common word was “energy.” Yes, when a group of people emerge energized from a two hour meeting on a Monday night in the summer, you know that the lighthouse has been switched on. As a next step, two of the committee members will take the brainstorming results and fashion a work plan and present it at the next meeting on July 16. More information about the partnership is available here.