School Comments According to Woodrow Wilson, "It is easier to change the location of a cemetery than it is to change a curriculum." Although this position may be a little drastic, effecting change can often be a challenging process. However, the teachers and administrators of the Vermillion Public Schools have always been dedicated to school improvement and to making any changes they feel would be beneficial for our students.
This year, we have two groups of professionals who are examining ways to improve both the curriculum and instructional practices of our schools. After conducting an informal study of needs and perceptions, each group selected a school improvement project.
The Instruction Committee decided to develop a district-wide mentoring program for both new and experienced teachers. Although the high school already has an "informal" mentoring program and the district is involved with the Professional Development Center (PDC) program with the university, there is not a district-wide program available for all teachers. This group plans to have a program in place for next year.
The Curriculum Committee has taken on a curriculum alignment and mapping project that will probably take about two years to complete. The first steps are to look at the "horizontal" alignment of each grade/course. The purpose of this step is make sure that the written, taught, and tested curriculums are all aligned. Examining the state standards, determining "essential" curriculum, identifying effective instructional strategies, and selecting appropriate assessment are all a part of this process. The next step will be to complete a "vertical" alignment by analyzing and articulating between the grade levels. This project fits in perfectly with the new state mandates regarding standards and course guidelines.
Our district mission statement indicates that we will "empower all students to maximize their success in our global community." We are continually focusing on this goal and school improvement is the key.