By Erin Knudtson, Vice-Chair, Hutchinson Board of Education
The start of a new year has traditionally been an opportunity to contemplate goals. The Hutchinson Board of Education engages in annual goal setting; taking this responsibility seriously and striving to set clear and thoughtful goals that promote our students’ success. Our administrative team uses these goals to develop action plans for implementation over the subsequent months to years.
In setting about this work, we keep the core values of our district in mind: relationships are essential for student success, all students learn, a culture of high expectations is critical, and a meaningful and challenging curriculum is vital.
While developing goals for the district, we make every attempt to consider the success of each individual student. In doing so, we keep in mind the wellbeing of each student as a whole person. A student’s well-being is only as strong as their physical, developmental, social, and emotional health. Students learn best when they feel well across all of these domains. If a student is struggling physically, emotionally, or socially, their learning can be suboptimal. We do what we can to support each student because it dramatically affects their ability to learn and be successful. Opportunities like Second Step in our elementary schools, the REACH program in our middle and high schools, and partnerships with organizations like Common Cup are all examples of ways our community and district support our students in nonacademic ways. As a pediatrician, I see how behavioral and developmental issues impact academics as much as physical issues. Student achievement correlates to student health! It is important that we recognize and support students as individuals in the areas they need it most.
Schools are often the environment where student needs are identified and supported. Now, more than ever, schools are asked to provide a larger breadth of services. It is important that our community understand what is asked of our schools, and that as a board, we work towards setting goals that assist our staff with providing the best learning experience for our wide array of students. There is no better investment in our community than in our youngest members!
We look forward to thoughtfully considering how we can continue to best serve our students, families, staff, and community at large as the Hutchinson Board of Education continues to explore and develop goals for itself and the district.