27J Schools - A Vision for Our Students’ Future/ Preparing Our Students Today.

“The mission of School District 27J, with the support of the family and community, is to ensure that ALL students have the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed for present and future competence and success.”

This is the fundamental purpose of our work. Our mission drives teaching and learning across our system and frames the decisions that we make as a school district.

The student of today is the citizen, the worker, the parent and the leader of tomorrow. In the year 2038 our students of today will be engaged in society in ways that we cannot fully understand. Rapid technological advancement, the interconnectedness and the access to information has changed the landscape of work. Imagine…

What will the world be like in 2038? What jobs will exist? What skills will be needed? What attitudes will allow them to be successful in life 20 years after graduation?

And yet we must prepare them.

Their future compels us to employ a dynamic vision of teaching and learning. Our students need us and we are accountable. In 2038 acquiring information will have been replaced by a whole host of skills that will require a great deal more of our students than our traditional approach has offered. These skills include:

Entrepreneurial Skills - Problem Solving, Critical Thinking, Inquiry, Analysis, Innovating, Risk Taking

Personal Skills – Self Awareness, Perseverance, Initiative, Personal Responsibility, Flexibility

Interpersonal Skills – Collaboration, Communication, Cultural-Global Networking, Civic Engagement, Character

Professional Skills- Time Management, Career Awareness, Information Literacy, Productivity, Self-Advocacy, Use of Information and Technology, Leadership

Notice that “knowing of content” has fallen completely off of the list. The list of skills, understandings, and dispositions demanded by the future require something different of educators in our classrooms. These aren’t lessons to be lectured, listened to, and recalled by our students. Learning today and preparing our students for our world tomorrow requires far more from our learners. As educators, we must engage these foundational skills through a new set of learning experiences.

In 27J Schools, we have named the ideal classroom for learning as the Thinking Classroom. We envision a classroom where students are actively thinking, inquiring, problem solving, engaging, self-regulating, and owning their learning. This learning, received in the Thinking Classroom, will go with our students as they head into the future of 2038.

Preparing our students for their future is the challenge of our careers and an opportunity for all of us in 27J Schools. We are committed to preparing all students for a successful career and life far beyond high school graduation. We believe the best way to prepare for the future is by practicing these skills, understandings, and attitudes in the Thinking Classroom today.