How do you prepare students for jobs and careers that haven’t been created yet? This year’s kindergartners will graduate from high school in 2034. What will the world look like 13 years from now?
It’s a tricky balancing act, and Rockingham County Public Schools is getting some help from other school divisions across the country.
RCPS was chosen to participate in the School Superintendents Association’s National Learning 2025 initiative to help transform education for future generations.
The more than 60 “demonstration systems” represent a collection of forward-leaning urban, suburban and rural districts serving as national models to help guide and reposition partner districts efficiently by sharing successful practices and successes, as well as challenges, according to a press release.
RCPS applied to be a part of the program, and it was in large part due to the division’s forward thinking when it comes to the emotional needs of students, Superintendent Oskar Scheikl said.
“Every school division brings something to the table,” Scheikl said. “For us, it’s our tiered systems of support. In the last five years, we have hired 40 staff members. That’s our expertise, and they want us to share that.”
With all 60 participating school divisions bringing something different to the table, RCPS will be positioned to gain knowledge and resources and innovation on many aspects of education.
“This is why I became superintendent,” Scheikl said. “To help shape education. And I think we’re moving in the right direction.”
School divisions will meet remotely in small groups and will have a mentor to help guide them. The full contingency for Learning 2025 will also meet at conferences and conventions over the next year and beyond.
The exact timeline is still being worked on, but RCPS has met with its mentor about the program and what the division can expect.
According to a press release, an AASA Learning 2025 demonstration system will:
• Receive senior consulting services, personalized engagement and strategic planning support for their district.
• Create a customized action plan tailored to meet the needs of their district.
• Gain a customized dashboard to track their district’s progress and provide real data to community stakeholders.
• Take part in professional learning opportunities, including a complimentary registration to one of AASA’s Leadership Network cohorts.
• Contribute to national research, practice and policy.
• Network, collaborate and learn with school systems that are committed to supporting the whole learner, ensuring anti-marginalization and adopting future-driven practices.
• Move their district forward with research-based recommendations to provide all learners with a bright future.
“Our goal is to galvanize and synergize thought leaders from all sectors to emerge from the pandemic in better shape than they were before,” Daniel Domenech, executive director of AASA, said in the press release. “This initiative will ensure that educators are empowered and equipped to meet whole learners’ needs by personalizing and customizing instruction, involving students in designing their own learning and coordinating resources to support all children’s overall growth and well-being.”