Tacoma Public Schools issued a new survey today so parents and others can identify how innovation can help the district improve student achievement.
The survey results, combined with survey results from district staff and comments gleaned from future community meetings, will help the School Board develop a new policy and guidelines aimed at expanding on the record number of innovative learning options offered to Tacoma students.
In March, State Superintendent Randy Dorn named Tacoma Public Schools as the state’s first-ever and only district-wide Innovation Zone for education. In the first two years of the state’s effort to identify the most innovative schools, 12 of the 33 schools statewide to earn the innovative designation are in Tacoma Public Schools.
As part of Dorn’s designation of Tacoma as a district-wide innovation zone, he set three conditions:
The School Board must provide direction and parameters for innovation, including policies and procedures.
The district must develop a multi-year implementation plan.
The district must launch a city-wide communication and community engagement plan to seek input, share information and build a broad base of support for school innovation.
The School Board has devoted a series of public meetings to developing an innovation policy by the end of the year.
The innovation survey is one step in the outreach effort. At www.innovatingforachievement.com, citizens have the option of taking the survey in English, Spanish, Russian, Ukrainian or Vietnamese.
Tacoma’s state-designated innovative schools include: First Creek, Baker and Stewart middle schools; Geiger and Bryant Montessori schools; an International Baccalaureate Zone including Foss High School, Giaudrone Middle School and McCarver Elementary School; School of the Arts (SOTA), Science and Math Institute (SAMI), Lincoln Center at Lincoln High School and Stafford Elementary School.
In his March announcement, Dorn explained the need for innovation: "I support teachers and administrators doing what it takes to make kids ready for a career or college. I strongly encourage schools to be bold and creative when finding solutions that work for kids."