A Focus on a Growth Mindset
We need to have all of our children taught to continuously improve and adopt a long term growth mindset. We need to teach them that there is always room for improvement, there is always a way to do it better and that this frame of mind and exercise in improvement is their key responsibility. Kids should focus on self improvement – physically, mentally and socially. They can learn to express how they’ve made their life better, their family better, their community better, and the world better. Teach them to start with small life improvements and show them how those can increase the quality of life for everyone. We also need to apply this KaiZen methodology to the operation of the school board and all of our schools.
Run Pilot Projects
We need to work with other levels of government and our universities and colleges to increase the outcomes of our schools. We can build controlled pilot projects that will allow us to assess the impact of implementing different services in our schools. An example would be to take some schools and run a project to investigate the impact of having high quality breakfast and lunch provided to students and match that increased service against a control group over 3 years. Another option would be to test the impact of Mindfulness and Meditation on children in a select number of schools against the control group. This would let us know the impact of that change to see if the cost is worth the impact on grades, other quantitative metrics and qualitative metrics. Running these projects would allow us to asses different changes to our system and their relative cost. Any pilot projects should take into consideration different socio-economic backgrounds and operate with a strong multi-variate analysis to ensure that we have the outcomes we desire. This would allow our schools to offer the best “bang for our buck”.
Let Our Kids Grow
For those parents that want their kids to have the opportunity to grow and experience the world without their direct supervision, I will support initiatives at our schools that are similar to those developed by letgrow.org Having schools adopt Before and After-School Free Play, keeping the gym or playground open till dinner, with no organized activities, just kids learning how to make their own fun and develop the social skills and executive function it takes to keep a game going.
Open Source Course Content
I think that the school board should create an environment for open source collaborative teaching material and content. We have a tremendous amount of talent in our teachers, students, and parents as well as our universities in the province. We should work to develop an environment that will have all course material for all grades collaboratively developed online so that teachers, parents and our community have access to use and improve all teaching material.
We should consider creating videos with dedicated teachers to compliment the materials created. This will allow parents to easily access the material and aid in the education of their children. Any content missed could be easily linked to by the teacher and sent to parents to help their kids stay up to date on all material.
Collaborate with other School Boards
We should work with all other school boards and organizations to collaborate and work to build economies of scale. This will help reduce costs and increase the quality of materials and the quality of education we provide to our children. This collaboration will save money and add value. We also need to work with other organizations to share knowledge and ensure best practices are followed at all levels of our organization.
Increased collaboration with community partners
We need to work with community partners to increase the quality of education in a more robust manner. We can work with NGOs (Non-governmental organizations) and other government organizations to follow up and ensure any child at risk gets all of the support they need to be successful in their goals.