We hope this letter finds you and your loved ones doing well and enjoying the change in seasons. Our first two months of school have passed at a rapid pace with Thanksgiving break quickly approaching. We truly hope that you and your children have enjoyed their school experience thus far. In visiting schools and interacting with staff, students and families, the passion and dedication of our stakeholders is clearly evident. The precious endeavor of education is alive and well in the Parchment School District!
Our charge is to provide students with the best educational experience possible. The Parchment School District has committed to a holistic approach to educating children. Some may perceive that education in the United States has moved into a model of "sort and select" where children are represented more by their test scores than their character and content. This is not the model of education that we wish to promote in our district. Obviously, we do not ignore test scores and achievement levels. Student achievement will always be the driving force in the classroom. However, we aspire to also know students as individuals, promote strengths, differentiate for needs and exhibit true compassion and care for all kids. Through this, we want to promote a growth mindset and elicit student voice in our schools. This creates strong community and empowers students to respect and value one another for their respective differences. Isn t this what we desire from our society? To have a community that values these ideals and promotes determination and resolve to collectively solve problems that we are confronted with.
We are preparing our children for careers that do not yet exist. How does our educational model fit into the rapidly changing world and global labor market? The aforementioned approach to education prepares our students for life after school. It is also vitally important that we maintain innovative programming and experiences for our students to prepare them for their future. This school year we have implemented a highly successful STEM program in all of our elementary schools. Students are collaboratively learning through phenomenon based education and exploration with high levels of engagement. We have also instituted two innovative classes at the middle school through Project Lead the Way. They are Automation and Robotics and App Creator. These students design, produce and test using real world, experiential learning. The high school has also added Automation and Robotics to their course offerings. Students are given the experience of engineering and manufacturing robotics using 21st century skill development. This is in addition to the wealth of opportunities already provided through Education for Employment, Education for the Arts, Early Middle College, and Dual Enrollment. These programs are offered exclusively in Kalamazoo County through the Kalamazoo Regional Educational Service Agency.
These new innovative programs align with our vision of education and provide students the experiences necessary to continue to grow. I would like to express my appreciation to the Board of Education for continuing to promote and support these programs for our students. They have provided the opportunities for our students, staff and district to continue to lead and thrive.
Jason P. Misner, Superintendent