WCSD evaluates proposed “Principles of Practice” in order to fulfill District Mission Statement
For years, the Wooster City School District has had the mission statement of, “Inspiring world-class academic achievement.”
The District Leadership Team has recently proposed a change to this district philosophy that does not replace the old one, but rather, specifically, outlines how they hope achieve this goal; it is a comprehensive mission statement known as the Principles of Practice.
Cassandra Gasser, an intervention specialist at the high school as well as a member of the district leadership team, said the DLT proposed the change because, “We realized we wanted something with more direction and that clearly explained how we reach our level of world- class academic achievement,” Gasser said.
Gasser said the first step to meeting this goal was outlined on a graphic organizer they created to explain the Principles of Practice.
According to the organizer, “The Wooster City School District is responsible for the prevention of student failure and the growth of the whole child.”
From this primary goal, the mission statement is composed of four different components that have already existed within the district but that are now clearly defined.
WHS Science Dept. member and DLT member, Eric Heller stated, “There are four main principles of practice that we look through for everything we do as a district; teaching students receive will always fall into one of four categories”.
The first component is initial core instruction; Heller said this is to have a focus on instruction that can meet the needs of all students.
The second component is Teacher-Based Teams to better plan out student education. “For example, at the high school level, there may be a physical science team or a biology team. At the elementary level, there may be a third grade team,” Heller said.
The third component is titled, The Wooster Way. Gasser said the Wooster Way has already existed and that it is an umbrella of services with a focus on emotional well-being.
The final principle of practice is Instruction; the goal of this component is to ensure that instruction is aligned with the standards of state testing.
The DLT hopes for a transition where they gradually focus on all four principles throughout the district.
“The elementary level will focus more on the Wooster Way, and the high school will focus more on initial core instruction. We will start where we are strongest and branch out,” Gasser said.
At this point in time, the WSC Board of Education has tabled the mission statement.
In May, members of the board are attending the next district leadership team meeting on the subject and will vote on the approval of the Principles of Practice afterwards.