Superintendent's Welcome Letter
Indian Valley Local Schools’ mission statement is:
Working together to personalize a rigorous standards-based learning experience.
A mission statement gives direction to each day’s work. As professionals responsible for the learning of all students, a clear purpose helps us to guide decision making and prioritize the competing needs that confront us on a daily basis. I would like to share what this looks like at Indian Valley.
The tradition in public education for many decades has been for teachers to work isolation. However, preparing our students for the complex and competitive demands of today’s learning environment and job market is bigger than any one person. As educators, we are committed to working together to ensure the success of each student. Collaboration among our faculty is essential in delivering the professional knowledge and expertise we collectively possess. In short, we work as a team to help us deliver the best possible education for our students.
Personalizing a student’s education manifests in different ways. First, each student comes to us with different background knowledge and life experiences. At the elementary level, our teachers focus on identifying how the varied backgrounds have impacted students academically. They target instruction not only for areas of academic deficiency, but plan learning experiences for students to further build upon their strengths. While this continues in the middle grade levels, we begin helping students identify their personal interests and how those relate to various career fields. Once in high school, the center of attention begins to focus on personalizing the academic pathway necessary for a student to attain the career of his or her choice.
In educational terms, rigor amounts to students’ being able to apply knowledge to solve problems and draw conclusions. This amounts to high levels of expectation for student learning, as application of knowledge must transcend rote memorization. Many of the expectations encountered by previous generations stopped at memorizing multiplication facts, states and capitals, or even bones of the body. But consider how fast our world is changing; the first iPhone was introduced in only 2007! What will their world be like in 30 years? Rigor is necessary for us to teach them to adapt to an ever-changing landscape of opportunities that have not yet been invented.
The idea behind a standards-based education is to ensure every student receives a defined educational experience. What a student is expected to learn and be able to do should not be subject to chance of what classroom s/he is assigned. An Indian Valley education guarantees a common set of expectations for every student. Our teachers collaborate to make this a reality.
Learning describes the focus of our teachers in the classroom. Attention cannot be given solely to the fact of whether or not certain material was taught, rather attention is given to whether or not the student learned that material. If the material was not learned, the teaching was for not. At Indian Valley Local Schools, our focus is on what our students are learning.
As we progress further into the 21st century, it is clear that today’s learners respond best to an engaging learning environment. Passively taking notes cannot be the sum total of a student’s experience, but a student must have the opportunity to interact with the facts, ideas, and concepts to be learned. We are committed to continually improving the engaging learning experience through the use of technology as a tool and the study of effective instructional strategies.
I hope this analysis of our mission statement has helped you discover the heart of Indian Valley Local Schools. It is our desire to make our community proud by developing scholars and leaders ready to pursue their goals and dreams anywhere in the world! Please let us know if there is anything we can do to assist you.
Dr. Ira Wentworth
Indian Valley Local Schools