At the Delta School District, we have a new vision and we are committed to making sure it comes alive.
Last school year, teachers, parents, students and staff came together for several months of interactive planning to create a new vision for our district. The outcome is a goal that reflects the wants and needs of everyone within our district.
Our Vision: To be a leading district for innovative teaching and learner success.
Now we are focusing on achieving this vision, and we are doing so through inquiry. Inquiry, by definition, is a seeking for truth, information, or knowledge. A clear distinction needs to be made between inquiry and research. As described by Dr. Roland Case, co-founder of the Critical Thinking Consortium, research is in fact re-searching something. It is gathering information that someone else has already figured out. Inquiry, on the other hand, is self-discovery.
All of our 31 schools have selected an inquiry coordinator. In each school, this person's job is to first collaboratively determine the strengths of their school and then to define an area of improvement that could truly benefit the entire school community and uphold the new Vision. From here, an official inquiry question is posed that the coordinator will seek to answer through the engagement of the teachers, staff and students.
For example, at Pinewood Elementary School, they are interested in examining how the use of Smartboards can be utilized to enhance student learning.
The whole idea is to truly focus on what the students need and to use exploration to determine the best ways to meet these needs.
"We are shifting from teachers, to facilitators of knowledge," explained Zena Ray, Principal at Pinewood Elementary.
The inquiry process will look different in every school, but one thing will be consistent – engagement of staff and students to create the best learning environments that embrace innovative teaching and lead to individual learner success.
If you'd like more information about this topic, please email Deneka Michaud, Manager of Communications, Delta School District firstname.lastname@example.org.