Kim McMonagle and Carolyn Jefferson-Jenkins Our educational system, created in the image of industrialism, has been grounded in the principles of …
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Kim McMonagle and Carolyn Jefferson-Jenkins
Our educational system, created in the image of industrialism,
has been grounded in the principles of memorization, repetition and
standardized assessment for more than 100 years.
In today’s rapidly changing world, where technical information
is predicted to double every 72 hours, and where students are
expected to compete, think and create on a global scale, we find
that our instructional model must be transformed.
Douglas County has excellent schools — some of the best in the
state, if not the country. We provide a great education. Over the
past eight months, we have developed three district priorities —
Choice, World-Class Education, and System Performance. These
priorities stay true to our commitments, align our work and
facilitate the transition from providing an excellent 20th century
education to a world-class 21st century education — one that
provides sustainable, personalized learning for all students in
A world-class education means that our students will be able to
compete on the “world stage” for the highest paying jobs —
opportunities that require a high level of creativity and
innovation. We have intentionally taught communication skills,
problem solving skills, and critical thinking skills.
Historically, we have not focused on teaching or assessing
creativity, innovation, resiliency, systems thinking, and
collaboration — all vital 21st century skills.
Providing a World-Class Education means that we are committed to
integrating these vital 21st century skills into our teaching,
learning and assessments.
As a result, our students will graduate with a deep
understanding of self, world, career, and their own defined pathway
A World-Class Education also requires a school district to
produce sustainable learning — this is learning that sticks. The
most important information and skills must be taught deeply, across
all content areas, and assessed authentically. As part of our
World-Class Education strategy, the Douglas County School District
will focus our instruction on learning activities that require
students to analyze, synthesize, apply, evaluate and create.
We will empower those teachers who have already begun shifting
their instruction and assessment to account for the World-Class
Education model. We will put our resources behind “early adopters”
who are the first to create success in their own classrooms, and
ultimately, will collaborate with their peers to bring success to
Finally, in Douglas County School District, a World-Class
Education is for all students. To that end, additional
instructional support is personalized to provide our students with
access to our curriculum. Every child in Douglas County learns
differently. We believe in offering multiple opportunities for
learning through active partnerships with families and
We recognize that a World-Class Education provides all students
the maximum opportunity for success. Our commitment means that we
will provide services in social-emotional well-being, health,
literacy and numeracy interventions, programming for gifted
students, English language learners, and students with special
We have excellent schools in Douglas County. As we move toward
World-Class Education, we are committed to beginning a transition
toward preparing every student for his/her future. The “one size
fits all” industrial model of education will not prepare our
students for their futures. Our commitment to parents, students,
employees, and our community promises that we will equip Douglas
County children with the vital skills to enable them to become
tomorrow’s leaders in the 21st century.
Kim McMonagle is executive director of curriculum, instruction
and choice programming; and Carolyn Jefferson-Jenkins is executive
director of learning support services for the Douglas County School
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