Superintendent's Monthly Message


March 2015

In Union School district we are committed to ensuring that all of our students are “Future Ready.” But what, exactly, does that really mean? Meaningful careers, global citizenship, financial stability, a lifetime of happiness? Those things are rather abstract for an elementary school district. But the foundation built during our students’ formative years is exactly what ultimately supports achieving many of those goals. How do we cultivate the curiosity, tenacity, and student competencies to meet the demands of a largely unpredictable future?

 Over the past few decades, workforce requirements have shifted dramatically. To thrive in today’s and certainly tomorrow’s society, a deep foundation in technological, scientific, and mathematical literacy is required. Our commitment to ensuring that students are “Future Ready” is based on the quality of the teaching and learning we are doing in each of these areas as we implement the Common Core standards and integrate technology as a tool for learning in all of our classrooms. Throughout the district, we have been doing extensive professional development on deepening the rigor and understanding of key content concepts with a focus on guiding students to see the real-world relevance behind core academic lessons. Engaging students in solving real-world problems creates a context for developing a deeper set of skills and new ways of thinking. Deeper learning is important because academic knowledge alone is not enough to prepare students to be “Future Ready.” Students need critical thinking, problem solving, and diverse communication skills to collaborate with others and expand their own knowledge. We are encouraging students to personalize their learning by tackling a problem or pursuing a line of inquiry, using technology to organize and present their ideas and share their discoveries. Students are being challenged to seek more than one solution to any problem and to defend the solution they think is most promising. 

Thanks to the community support for the bond, we have been able to provide students mobile devices throughout the district to use in class. Our teachers have been leaders in adapting their instructional practices to effectively utilize technology as an educational enhancement, and our students have been empowered by their enthusiastic exploration of the possibilities connecting to learning outside the classroom walls promises. Today’s students will be tomorrow’s leaders; USD plans to prepare them for the challenge of the future!

Dr. Jacqueline M. Horejs, Superintendent