Sippican School personalizes, passes strategic plan

Oct 19, 2018

MARION — A presentation of the Sippican School’s strategic plan from principal Evelyn Rivet provided a look into the school’s hopes for the future as well as a snapshot of the school’s current successes and failures on Wednesday.

“With the school council we have developed the school improvement plan, and they have put their stamp of approval on it,” Rivet said.

The school committee approved the strategic plan following the Oct. 17 presentation.

The two year strategic plan includes the same emphasis on 21st century learning, fostering social and emotional competency and creating a sense of global citizenship as the district’s “Vision 2023” strategic plan.

A 21st century learner is a student who demonstrates competency in digital literacy, collaboration, and problem-solving.

Administrators plan to use this year to inform teachers about many of the smaller components that make up the plan’s three big goals and to have teachers implement these values and provide feedback next year.

Rivet noted that the school is doing particularly well on 21st century learning.

“Next year the goal is for [21st century learning] to be part of their goals,” she said. “However we have overachievers in our building that are already doing that.”

Rivet added that many teachers presented on their technology use at the school’s October professional day, though she acknowledged the school had hit a snag in integrating technology as a whole and left the task up to grade level teams.

To better implement global citizenship skills, the school is giving teachers time to look at global themes and how to apply technology to citizenship issues. Next year teachers will implement both these things.

For some goals a smaller group of teachers will be responsible for attending trainings and then educating their colleagues. Such is the case with a curriculum strategy called backwards design that three teachers will attend this year with anti-defamation training.

Some of the social and emotional learning goals seem easier for the school to tackle through a single individual.

The Director of Student Services, Michael Nelson, will help teachers use responsive classroom strategies from pre-k to sixth grade. Next year the school plans to have teachers do weekly self assessments on that skill.

The school psychologist will also work on researching behavior management strategies. Next year the school hopes to look at their code of conduct and student handbook to see how those align with research.

Although the school noted that is already has strong parent outreach through its ANCHOR program, it also wants to reach out to parents on how it can improve and organize these ideas next year.

For school safety and security vice principal Sarah Goerges attended a meeting with the Fire and Police Chiefs this year. Next year the school hopes to focus on updating their crisis training and best practices.