People who enter the field of education have a strong desire to serve others. Their work changes the lives of our students and impacts our community every day. As they walk into our classrooms each morning, their goal is to motivate, inspire and nurture the minds and hearts of the children in their care.
Academics matter and so does a healthy environment, which is why this emerged as one of our three themes for Laramie County School District 1’s Strategic Plan. This is the last in a series of articles I have written about our new plan. We launched it in mid-April, and it will serve as our roadmap for the next five years. The plan was developed using thousands of community comments and hundreds of hours of feedback sessions. Along with Healthy Environment, our other themes include Student Readiness and Community Engagement.
I think of our plan as a three-legged stool. As educators, obviously student readiness is the single most important thing we do as a school district. However, we cannot do this work without our community partners. And finally, without a healthy learning environment, our students and staff will not be able to flourish. One missing leg, or in this case, one missing theme, will send the stool on its side. The stakes are high, and we know this work is imperative. All of these pieces must be in place so we can prepare our students for their future.
What does it mean to maintain a healthy environment? As we have stated in recent months, kindness matters. Our district and community can no longer tolerate the negative behaviors that impact a safe, responsible and respectful environment. So, with that, we are in the process of providing additional multi-tiered systems of support to help boost this initiative. Going forward, we will be training teachers and students to provide the skills they need to maintain kindness in our classrooms and throughout the district. We will also be working to provide an environment that fosters the intellectual, physical, mental and social-emotional growth of all staff so that they are better equipped to educate our students.
We have many state-of-the art buildings in our district with lots of amenities. However, our school buildings range in age from less than three years to more than 80 years old. We recognize that excellent instruction occurs throughout our buildings regardless of age and condition. Yet, we remain committed to working with members of our legislature, community partners and families to make sure that every student has access to state-of-the-art facilities. Along with that, we will continue our work to ensure our buildings are clean, safe and well-maintained as we know that along with our school children, they are used by a variety of groups and organizations around the community. In short, our goal is to provide a learning environment that mirrors many of the places our students will work and contribute to our community as they graduate.
Although in a few short weeks, we will be closing out this school year, please know that our work to develop initiatives and strategies around this plan will continue throughout the summer. Professional development at the beginning of next school year will be aligned with our plan. I also intend to visit schools, departments and community organizations to share our progress. If you are interested, visit the Strategic Plan section of our district website,www.laramie1.org, to view our interactive dashboard or check out updates. As always, if you have a question or comment, please feel free to contact us. We welcome your thoughts and suggestions.