Participants in our Future Ready Alliance held two cross-district conversations this spring, one to share ideas for documenting students’ career learning milestones and another to discuss ways of advancing equity.
“The conversations both underscored the value of a network like the Alliance,” said Program Director Debbie Pixton, who helped organize the virtual meetings. “Without this kind of forum, educators often have no outside benchmarks for assessing what they’re doing in their schools or finding out whether others are experiencing similar challenges.”
The conversation on career learning, for example, helped Librarian Kristen Gettens get better perspective on challenges she has seen at Highlands High School since moving there this year from the district’s elementary school.
“It was invaluable to hear from other districts with similar budget issues and similar demographics” and realize that some of the issues she’s found at Highlands aren’t unique, she said.
Attending the Alliance event also helped Gettens make connections.
“I’ve been able to reach out since then to other districts [for ideas and support],” she added.
Discussions about career learning focused on artifacts students must collect as well as strategies schools have for organizing and archiving them.
Equity conversations focused on handling challenges such as student attendance and navigating sensitivities for LGBTQ students.
“These issues are top-of-mind in many schools,” Pixton said. “We encourage our members to share similar topics with us whenever they feel the need for focused conversations in a safe, network setting.”