It was a productive day. The committee received input from several different staff members who were invited to offer insightful perspectives on programs and practices. We discussed a wide range of issues that were related to our pursuit of progress, including the master schedule, the need to actively engage learners in meaningful learning experiences, program expansion, and enriching opportunities for learners. Most notable of the areas of focus was the exploration of a vision of the future of The Heatly School. It was a view not merely spanning a single school year from September through June, but stretching three years beyond the present. It was a chance to momentarily unburden ourselves from what is and imagine what could be and what needs to be. We examined the prospects of on-line learning, virtual classrooms, school-to-work career awareness programs, summer school, partnerships with local colleges, and other possibilities that would expand our reach beyond the walls of the school building to embrace the concept of being a small school with BIG ideas.
The experience reflected an atmosphere of collaboration. Here's an essay I was asked to prepare for the state department of education several years ago for a publication called The Possibilities Catalog. It speaks of the value and need for a synergy produced by cooperation among constituent groups within a school.