In times of change, the learner inherits the earth, while the learned are beautifully prepared for a world that no longer exists. —Eric Hoffer
I find this quote both fascinating and a little intimidating. As schools across the country adapt to the changing needs of today’s students, these same schools must also recognize that preparing students for a future that is yet to be defined involves more than providing a strong foundation in basic skills. Students must have the ability and desire to continue to learn throughout their lives. They must have strength of academics, strength of character, and passion for creativity to succeed in the 21st century workforce.
High achievement opens doors…..
It’s a fact. This country’s top student achievers have the most choices after high school. We want as many of our students as possible to be in this position. We need to make sure that every student is achieving academically at the highest level possible. Our new district achievement goal states that, “Ninety percent of all students will be on or above grade level in reading, math, writing, and science by 2011. The achievement gap in student performance will be cut in half by 2009." This kind of goal makes a statement: In LPS, achievement matters. But, achievement is not the only thing that matters.
Character and courage move you forward.
It’s also our responsibility to partner with parents in helping to shape students’ character. We want every LPS student to have instilled within them the desire to learn, the courage to take risks, and the character to take responsibility for failure as well as success.
Our focus on 21st Century Skills
What does it mean to be literate in the 21st Century? It certainly means achieving at high levels academically. It also means being skilled in the areas of critical thinking, interpersonal relationships, and entrepreneurialism. Those with a strong work ethic and who apply sound ethics to their work – both personally and digitally – will excel in our future economy. Those who accept, respect, and quickly adapt to change will continue to have a range of choices available to them throughout life. Tomorrow’s leaders will be masters of design, curiosity, and creativity. They will shape the future in ways we cannot yet imagine.
LPS begins this school year with an aggressive plan that addresses all of these important skills. We continue to find ways to help each child improve his or her individual achievement levels. We do so within a 21st Century Learning framework that reflects our community’s values, our Board of Education’s strategic plan, and our knowledge that academic strength is one piece of a larger picture.
Littleton Public Schools has an outstanding reputation as a premier school district. We have so many reasons for which to be proud. We simply couldn’t do it without the continued support of our staff, our parents, and our community members.
I wish each of you a wonderful school year. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to prepare your children for the future.
Scott D. Murphy
Littleton Public Schools