Recommendations Presented to GP School Board

A committee created to review and analyze learning opportunities that would help Grosse Pointe Public Schools continue to compete with other like districts presented several recommendations Monday to the school board for their consideration.

The 21st Century High School Review committee suggested Monday to the Grosse Pointe Public School Board a variety of changes that they believe could enhance the learning opportunities of students to ensure they are competitive with students from like districts post graduation.

The committee was created in the fall and tasked with evaluating areas the district could grow, change or adapt to ensure the district's high schoolers are competitive beyond the district and the program is benefitting all students. They were specifically not considering finances, adult needs or to seek change simply to make change--points highlighted Monday night.

The need for the review comes in light of state and federal mandate changes, the evolving expectations of parents and the heightened requriements of post-secondary institutions, according to a powerpoint presentation shown Monday.

Headed up by Jon Dean, the district's assistant superintendent of educational services and human resources, the committee included five additional administrators, seven parents or community members, 20 teachers and four students. 

Dean and other administrators presented the recommendations the group has reached thus far in the review process.

The recommendations include:

  • infusing consistent classroom technology across the district/curriculum
  • infusing consistent and more experiential learning into the curriculum
  • piloting hybrid course options in the 2013/14 school year with seat time
  • create dual enrollment opportunities where students may earn college credits during high school
  • increase the minimum credits required for graduation from 21 to 23 for the graduating class of 2016/17
  • implement an additional option for seniors who need to recover credits through offering make up courses online within the district versus the external resources currently available

The committee has been working at a quick pace to do a variety of research related to like districts, their policies, schedules and learning opportunities. Monday's presentation of preliminary recommendations was the first given since the group was formed in September. It was intended to inform the school board about the group's progress as well as the ideas that are being discussed.

The committee is set to continue the behind-the-scenes work and will review high school schedules and the most optimal option for students next. Meanwhile, the powerpoint presentation will be posted on the district's website, distributed throughout the district to staff and to parents for feedback.

School board members provided some questions and feedback Monday to Dean and the other administrators with the goal of narrowing the focus or considering alternative options for some of the suggestions.

Allison Baker January 29, 2013 at 11:56 PM
FYI... I have been told by a parent on the committee that the recommended additional 2 credits would be any two credits the student would like to choose. They would not be new requirements in a specific discipline.
Hasta January 30, 2013 at 02:30 AM
All discussion about innovation and creativity will grind to a halt when the board slaps yet another paycut on teachers next fall. The teachers who are leaders, risk takers, who are adaptable and proactive, will be looking for a different line of work. The board thinks its teachers are captive, but the very teachers who are curriculum leaders will find positions in administration in other districts, will become consultants, or will translate their skills to the private sector. They will not continue to be helpless victims while the board projects paycuts every year into the foreseeable future.
Christopher Profeta January 30, 2013 at 03:42 AM
Hasta, I couldn't have said it better. Teachers across the country don't get nearly enough respect for the work they do. We need a local board of education here in Grosse Pointe that understands something about education. We need a board that truly believes that if teachers aren't among its top priorities, our students and families will not be served as well as they deserve to be. http://facebook.com/ProfetaForFamilies
John January 30, 2013 at 01:32 PM
Caring about teachers is not simply reflected through their pay and benefits, but how they are treated and regarded by their administrators and community. I can say from experience that the teachers in this district that my children have been exposed to are some of the best in the business. My children benefit from them, I benefit from them, and the community benefits from them. Not only should the Board of Education and district administrators listen to the teachers, but the community should, as well. It is the community who should hold the district responsible for the quality of education our students receive. Regarding technology, I agree with Mike A. - it is overrated in many cases. It certainly cannot replace a good teacher!
Marjorie Parsons February 01, 2013 at 01:20 AM
Inherent in the desire to remain competitive as a leading school system is the wisdom and energy to explore the road less traveled. It is not to add more of the same to the status quo. Competitive schools are asking about such things as foreign languages, Advanced Placement, media development, aesthetics, practical living issues, environmental futures, biological engineering, legal thought, etc. In Grosse Pointe, emphasis on great writing is an obvious and compelling strength to further optimize. None of these need to be limited to courses or credits; they need to be tailored to the personal needs and aspirations of the community and its imagination.


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