“If we teach today’s students as we taught yesterday’s, we rob them of tomorrow.”
In Evergreen Public Schools, we strive to ensure all students are prepared for personal success, from Kindergarten through graduation, ready for their choice of career and/or post-secondary education, committed to contribute to the common good, and motivated to continue the pursuit of knowledge throughout their lives.
Today’s Kindergartners will view the iPad similar to how Baby Boomers remember black and white TV. When I was in high school, I remember hearing estimates that the amount of information available in the world would double within 14 years. Recent estimates now measure this in months. Due to the acceleration of technology, economists are projecting that two-thirds of the careers available to today’s students over their work history will be based on this new information and many of their future jobs do not yet exist. To prepare our students for this future, we must ensure they learn how to absorb and adapt rather than focus on memorizing facts.
Evergreen has a long history of workshop instruction which means students are active participants in learning. In our classrooms, teachers act as a guide on the side rather than a sage on the stage. As with the James Dyson’s 5,127 prototypes of the vortex vacuum cleaner development that took five years, we believe that true innovation, excellence, and deep understanding result from discovery, perseverance, productive struggle, and reflection. Our vision of personalized student learning is defined by the pillars of equity, universal access, communication, collaboration, critical and creative thinking, flexible learning environments, measures of individual proficiency, and connection to community and cultural resources.
Nearly half of Evergreen’s 26,400 students qualify for the Free & Reduced Lunch program and annually over 1,000 are in transition or homeless. Since instructional time accounts for about 17% of a child’s waking hours each year, Evergreen works to impact the child’s whole life. Our ongoing emphasis on equity is constantly exploring ways to provide basic physical needs (food, clothing, shelter), create a safe environment, and honor and include our students’ many cultures. We believe that unless needs of their body and heart are satisfied, children are unable to energize their minds for learning.
To meet this challenge, Evergreen is fortunate to have an outstanding staff who understand and embody the belief in life-long learning. Our teachers regularly participate in instructional coaching and collaboration teams to learn, share, and diffuse innovation all for students’ benefit. Starting with the School Board and myself to the school office, classroom, cafeteria, bus and playing field, above all else, we all care about every student, their present and their future.
Dr. John Steach