Why does SMCISD want to redesign school?
Most public school systems continue offering traditional educational experiences, which met the needs of society during the industrial revolution by delivering the same basic knowledge and skills to all students to support the workforce needs of that time. The result was a factory-model approach to teaching and learning.
Our world has changed drastically, yet most school systems have not changed. We strive to prepare the children and youth of San Marcos to thrive now and in the future. Every learner has different needs and interests, and our global society requires future-ready citizens equipped with complex knowledge and skills. As such, our drive to transform education is anchored in equity and commitment to future-readiness.
The road to achieving transformed and future-ready schools is multifaceted. Our first systematic school redesign efforts began in 2016 at Bowie elementary, and our innovations are now in various stages of development across the district, from early planning to full implementation.
How does SMCISD redesign schools?
SMCISD’s partnership with Transcend Education and other partner organizations has resulted in the development of a comprehensive school redesign process. The Science of Learning and Development, by Transcend Education, frames our processes.
First, we start with a small design team at the school site to examine five conditions for innovation. These conditions, which are defined by Transcend Education as conviction, clarity, capacity, coalition, and culture, are critical to ensuring equitable and extraordinary learning outcomes.
The school design team crafts the redesign vision by engaging in research activities, interviews with learners, parents, educators, and other stakeholders. A vision for the school is established, including graduate aims and design principles, which then informs the redesign plan. The plan is developed and refined through a variety of experiences and community stakeholder input, ultimately resulting in a draft design blueprint. The school design team will then pilot the design ideas, testing and then iterating to improve the design plan before implementing the final plan.