A Message from the LFKS President
Change and Redesign, two words we hear that cause feelings of excitement or fear. Both concepts are often hard for most people and don’t come easily. The definition of change is, “the act or instance of making or becoming different.” The definition of redesign is, “the action or process of redesigning something.” Change and Redesign require us to do something different than what we have already been doing. This task doesn’t usually happen with a snap of the fingers. Change and redesign in education take time, research and planning. In fact, our Kansans Can Redesign Project allows schools one year to develop a shared vision, organize a redesign team, set goal areas, design and implement professional learning, communicate with stakeholders, pilot prototypes, collect data and build a comprehensive redesign plan before launching their change efforts.
This is a time to be proud as an educator! Our school buildings were closed and with the support of KSDE and the Continuous Learning Plan, we had a week to change and redesign to accommodate continual learning for our students outside of the school building and we did it. I love seeing the positive consequences. Call me crazy or Pollyanna, but I’m seeing it and feeling it first-hand. The closing of school doors has challenged us to look at student learning differently and to initiate change and redesign in a week’s time. Within each district, administration and teacher leaders worked quickly to develop a professional learning plan and a framework for teachers. The teachers quickly collaborated and put together a Continual Learning Plan of essential skills that could be accessed by students through packets or online. Parents are being challenged to make home schedules, set up study areas, and help their students learn at home, while many are still working. Students are becoming more responsible for their own learning. Families are spending more time together doing schoolwork, activities, art projects, games, puzzles and more.
Although there has been a negative impact on economics, it has pushed businesses to make accommodations, change, and redesign to continue to serve their clientele. Other organizations and companies are reaching out and providing free resources, programs, curriculum, supplies, ideas, and more. We are all getting better and stronger because we are “#BetterTogether.” We are collaborating and communicating more. We are making deeper personal connections. We are giving each other grace! We are making change happen. Through this process, we are finding ways to better meet the needs of our students and families. We have found new strategies that we will continue to use and do. I think this is amazing and my hope is for it to be sustainable when the virus is gone.
Jo McFadden, President
Learning Forward Kansas