I often talk about how we are doing so much so quickly that it feels overwhelming. I reflect here – but as a big group, we don’t often slow down and look at or celebrate the work we’ve done in a super short time.
It was just about 2 years ago that our school board set forth our strategic plan, Ignite! This plan started the work that led to FCPSon and our new model of teaching and learning. That plan, rolled out at a school board meeting, started to really define and direct the work we all had been doing. Prior to Ignite, many departments and schools had a vague idea of what we wanted as our end goal (Portrait of a Graduate) and were doing our very best to get our schools and departments there. Sometimes it felt like we were all doing the same work, over and over. Once we had Ignite, we had the plans to achieve our goals and we all started working on the same goals, moving in the same direction! We were moving at a record pace!
Last November, a group of people were invited to be part of a steering committee to start this work. Yes, that’s correct. 11 months ago. This committee brought together from every group: instructional services, information technology, communications & marketing, field services, facilities, network engineers, finance and more. All the players started to come together on a regular basis to start figuring out the path for this important work that the school board had put before us.
Fast forward a bit to the end of February and March – the student design contest and the pyramid application process started. School and pyramid teams started to gather and work toward a common goal. That theme starts to repeat itself over and over through this work and it’s so very exciting. We have always had a goal of student success, but a specific goal with actions and benchmarks on the way means we have a specific path and actions set out in front of us.
April was the pyramid application evaluation and we were notified that we were selected. May was when our devices were ordered. In June we started professional learning for our pyramid’s tech coaches and administrators. We really started to lay out the work that we were doing and plan for the fall. In July our devices arrived and we started our distribution to in August and professional learning for teachers started mid-August and has continued.
We gathered as an expanded steering committee yesterday. The meeting seemed to have two distinct goals – reflect on the work we’ve done and provide feedback for our next few steps. It was wonderful to be in the room with all the people who are doing this work and have kept all the moving parts moving in the same direction! The awe and wonder at what we’ve been able to do in such a short time kept washing over me during this meeting. I know other people felt it too! I had to work hard to keep from becoming emotional and thinking too much about it!
I can’t wait to see what we accomplish in the rest of this year! The work this group is doing is amazing and really impacting how our students are learning!