The St. Croix District has embarked on a bold strategic plan to improve instruction and student academic performance. Themed “Creating Schools in St. Croix that Provide a World-Class Education for All Students,”the strategic plan was developed with St. Croix educators and facilitated by Mr. Jeffrey J. Hernandez of NationalAcademic Educational Partners (NAEP), according to a press release issued Thursday by the V.I. Board of Education.
The NAEP’s motto is “Transforming, Sustaining and Accelerating Education” and is comprised of educators committed to improving student learning and achievement in all schools.
Following the state mandates to improve academic achievement, positive school culture, and teacher and leader effectiveness, the school district’s strategic plan delves into and emphasizes the core subject areas of reading, writing and mathematics, along with the use of information technology and media, and is meant to fully integrate with the department’s Education System Improvement Process (eSIP) objectives.
The push for reading development, for example, will start at an elementary level with two-hour blocks that include time for reading and writing instruction, and language arts lessons. Smaller group sessions will also provide students with strategies to guide their development before, during and after each session. Writing workshops for kindergarten through 12th graders will also make time for independent writing and sharing between peer groups.
Similar emphasis will also be placed on mathematics classes, as district officials plan to use data gathered about the needs of students in each particular school to drive more individualized math instruction.
In order to provide students with as many opportunities for learning development as possible, the plan also provides that each school have a literacy coach, math coach, technology integration teacher and a reading recovery teacher. Each school will also be tasked with developing or providing clear cut vision, mission or belief statements that align with the department’s objectives. Developing holistic accountability systems, establishing school-wide expectations, and communicating more effectively with parents to encourage involvement at home are also key objectives within the district’s plan.
“We would like to create a professional and physical environment that is collaborative and welcoming, which also promotes engagement, positive relationships and social, emotional and intellectual development,” said St. Croix Superintendent Gary Molloy.
Generally, the St. Croix district’s Educational Strategic Plan poses seven challenges to stakeholders in the educational process: 1) Real-time data-driven improvement, 2) Extended learning opportunity, 3) Standards based curriculum and assessment, 4) Unified culture of excellence, 5) Leadership effectiveness, 6) Teacher effectiveness, and 7) Student performance and engagement. By meeting these challenges, the district will be engaged in its objective to provide a world-class education for all students.
For more information on the district’s Educational Strategic Plan, contact Deputy Superintendent Maria Encarnacion at 773-1095, ext. 7060.