THE SYCAMORE LEARNING COMMUNITY’S VISION:
The Sycamore Learning Community vision is to provide an ideal learning experience where students and staff are engaged and want to come back the next day.
The Sycamore Learning Community Vision statements are designed to fit these expectations.
• Vision statements describe the ideal learning experiences we want to provide when operating at our ideal best.
• To be powerful, visions must be bold and, must run well ahead of our capacity to do them now.
• Visions statements become the blueprint, the plan, the focus for all school improvement.
AREAS OF VISION
- From a learner perspective
- LEARNER OPPORTUNITIES
- What we envision our learners to learn
- LEARNING GROWTH
- How we measure learner growth and are held accountable
- How we use technology to customize and increase learning
- How we involve all members of the community
- How we provide support at all levels
What learning is like from a learner perspective…
- I learn while applying my best learning styles, and learning facilitators differentiate learning opportunities to meet my learning needs.
- Learning is natural for me and I find joy in learning.
- I am significantly involved in planning my learning and my future by developing individual learning goals, for which I am held accountable for results. In most cases, I get to choose what and how I will learn from options.
- I feel very safe physically, emotionally, and socially when at my learning center.
- My learning is customized to meet my interests and strengths, I study and learn things that are meaningful and relevant to my future.
- My parents/guardians and the Sycamore community support my success as a learner and take pride in my accomplishments.
- I have access to relevant technology and master a significant portion of my learner outcomes via technology.
- I have a digital portfolio of learner outcomes that shows a complete record of my learning accomplishments. My parents/guardians and my learning facilitators have access to my portfolio.
- I am encouraged to take on leadership roles and allowed to work with mentors to meet some of my important learning goals.
- I am encouraged to accept diverse cultures, genders, religions, values, and beliefs.
- All Sycamore learners leave our learning community as lifelong learners with the opportunity to choose any future they desire. Graduates are ready for college, for employment, and/or for creatively designing their own future.
- I enjoy my experience as a learner. I accomplish things that I know will help me as an adult.
How we help learners to learn…
- Learning opportunities are not limited by the constraints of time or structure but are directed by learner needs and interests.
- Learning opportunities are differentiated to maximize learners’ experience.
- Learning opportunities often do not follow a single traditional field of study. Most frequently, learners will be learning math, science, language arts, and social science while analyzing and solving real-life problems in today’s world.
- Learning opportunities are based upon research, expert opinion and successful past experiences. The question we ask is: “How is this best learned?”
- Differentiated learning opportunities limit the need for ability-level grouping.
- Learning opportunities are provided in a safe and positive environment, encouraging learner engagement, accountability, and creating lifelong learners.
- Learners are met at their developmental learning level and learning opportunities motivate learners to learn at their individual maximum pace.
- The learning community makes maximum use of technology for learning. As learners advance in our system, more and more learner outcomes are mastered by individual students using technology to access challenging and exciting online learning. (It is expected that high school learners will learn 50% to 60% of their outcomes with technology, leaving learning facilitators time to facilitate those most important learner outcomes that require a master learning facilitator working with a group of learners.)
- Learning facilitators make use of a variety of relevant support systems including technology, community, educational agencies, and home life to meet relevant and practical learner outcomes.
- Learning opportunities focus on how to learn as well as on what to learn, and in doing so,
help to create lifelong learners.
- Learning opportunities are presented using a variety of methods: lecture, seminar shadowing/mentoring, small/large group collaboration, online, and independent study. The question is, “How is this best learned?” from the learner’s perspective.
- Learning facilitators are conscious of their need to continuously improve their knowledge and skills. Improvement is a continuous cycle requiring opportunities for collaboration.
- Learning facilitators connect personally with students, helping to ensure that learners find joy and satisfaction in their learning.
How we measure learner growth and are held accountable…
- Learner assessment is directly aligned with the Sycamore Learner Outcomes. We identify what we want students to know, be able to do, and to be like; we teach to those learner outcomes, and we assess learner progress based upon those learning outcomes.
- Learner assessment is both formal and informal. Sycamore learners are allowed and encouraged to demonstrate their learning in authentic ways. Written tests are not the dominant or only manner for assessing student learning.
- Learners know the expected learner outcomes and benchmarks and know how they will be evaluated.
- Sycamore learning facilitators find it helpful to provide learner feedback rather than to “correct” the learner’s work.
- Each Sycamore learner creates a multi-media electronic portfolio, available to their parents/ guardians in real time, to document their successful learning.
- Learner growth data is consistently and effectively used to inform learners and parents/ guardians regarding learner progress, to provide a feedback loop to learning facilitators regarding learning strategies, and to help learning facilitators and leaders to continuously improve learner learning results.
- Although Sycamore learning facilitators do not “teach for the test,” Sycamore learners perform well when compared to other state schools and when compared nationally.
How we use technology to customize and increase learning…
- Each Sycamore learner has access to a computer/electronic device at their learning center and home.
- All Sycamore Learning Community learner outcomes can be accessed online 24/7, and learners have two or three learning style choices and two or three learning interest choices for most online learning.
- Technology empowers each learner to develop and be accountable for a dynamic,customized learning plan.
- Anyone can learn anything from anywhere at anytime.
- The learning community uses technology to responsibly engage as global citizens.
- The learning community benefits from access to technology that meets the needs of our diverse learners.
- Access and use of information continues to evolve throughout the expanding learning community.
- Learners use technology to improve competitiveness in the global market.
- The learning community requires access to the appropriate technology to meet the needs of the diverse learner.
- The learning community learner outcomes can be accessed online.
- Parents/guardians are able to track the growth of their learners, and are therefore able to get involved and to intervene when necessary.
- All learners, learning facilitators, and staff members use safe, appropriate, and thoughtful online practices and behaviors.
- All technology purchases, hardware and software, are made based upon the positive impact the technology will have on learners.
How we involve all members of the community…
We define “stakeholders” as anyone who is involved with the District, including but not limited
to: community members, alumni, students, guardians, businesses.
REGARDING OUR COMMUNITY, WE BELIEVE THAT…
- All stakeholders understand, articulate, and support the mission and vision of the Sycamore Learning Community.
- All stakeholders desire continuing communication that is open, honest and respectful.
- All stakeholders deserve efficient utilization of resources.
- All stakeholders deserve accountability through continuous assessment, periodic review,and renewal of vision.
- All stakeholders expect the pursuit of excellence in preparing our students for their future.
- All stakeholders expect that the Sycamore Learning Centers will provide customized learning opportunities and the community will serve as a learning laboratory.
- All stakeholders will be mutually supportive and will partner together to provide the best educational opportunities for all learners.
- Partnerships with our stakeholders, local businesses, industries, colleges, universities, and other units of local government, provide opportunities for real world learning.
- Sycamore Learning Community parents/guardians are supportive of learning facilitators and the learning community in general. Parents/guardians team with the school to ensure that their children receive the best education possible.
How we provide support at all levels…
- Sycamore Learning Community leaders are authentic people with high levels of integrity. They are trustworthy and model ethical and moral behaviors.
- Leaders are future-focused visionaries possessing the courage to take risks.
- Leaders effectively articulate and communicate the learning community vision to all groups.
- Leaders exhibit, model, and promote the highest standards of integrity, respect, and ethical behavior.
- Leaders demonstrate a growth mindset of adaptability and flexibility.
- Leaders prepare others for future leadership opportunities.
- Decisions by the Board of Education and the leadership team are always based upon the Sycamore Learning Community Strategic Design and on the short-term and long-term needs of learners. Cooperation and support are the norm, and politics do not enter into the decisions of the board or the leadership team.
- Leaders exhibit strong interpersonal skills and foster strong relationships.
- Leaders promote a professional learning community which encourages and welcomes creativity and feedback.
- Leaders formulate solutions based upon the learning community’s strategic design.
- Leaders collaborate to enhance the professional learning community.
- Sycamore Learning Community leaders are strong advocates for the learning community’s vision, and use it creatively and consistently as a decision making tool.