Board of Education outline district’s Shared Valued Outcomes initiative

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The North Shore Board of Education discussed the status of the Shared Valued Outcomes initiative at a general meeting on Thursday. Trustees, along with Superintendant Dr. Peter Giarrizzo, provided in greater detail what the district’s SVOs are, what has been done to identify them, and what will come next in implementing these values within the schools.

“We’ve set an ambitious agenda driven by our Shared Valued Outcomes, which are designed to transcend all aspects of our academic and total school program,” Giarrizzo said. “[SVOs] represent the skills, dispositions, habits and behaviors that we feel are needed to be successful in schools and beyond.”

Trustee Rob Chlebicki, the assistant superintendent of instruction for the BOE, presented a graphic outlining the district’s SVOs. He explained that these characteristics were developed based on constituent feedback, as well as from data that assessed the degree to which these SVOs appear in student work. The outcomes, he said, were established in 2015.

“The administrators created general rubrics for any grade, any discipline, that gave educators and students an idea of the varying degrees of thinking, innovation, and problem solving [which are three of the six SVOs],” he said.

The six characteristics identified as SVOs are thinking, problem solving, communicating, collaborating, innovating, and developing committed individuals.

Giarrizzo mentioned that the IB learner profile adopted at North Shore High School complements the SVO initiative. By implementing SVOs across all grades and subjects, there will be congruency across the district curriculum to ensure all North Shore students graduate with these skills.

Chlebicki added that naming the language for these SVOs is a step towards creating a common base of knowledge across all schools. “When we as a system make a commitment to these values, and when we put resources behind it, that connects the [student’s] journey and the naming [of these values] and makes it common,” he said. “The comparability of approach is vital in this process.”

Codifying the value-based curriculum also aids faculty members in refining certain assignments based around the SVOs, which would improve lesson plans being conducted in district classrooms. Trustee Sara Jones said she was struck by the number of “spontaneous and genuine references” to SVOs from classroom teachers at the recent Back to School night. She explained that the teachers believe that the SVO initiative is meaningful to the work they are doing.

Giarrizzo said the first step in implementation is developing the descriptors associated with each SVO to make them understandable for anyone from a kindergartener to a high school parent. The second is assembling a task force responsible for ensuring the SVO philosophy is integrated into the curriculum in a systematic way. The third is enlisting the Tri-State Consortium, an outside assessment team, to provide external feedback to identify what the next steps will be, and ultimately help enact SVO in the district.

“I believe the SVO provides a good framework for our faculty and students to put learning into context, and also helps parents better understand how [the district] frames the academic programs,” said Trustee David Ludmar.

Giarrizzo said the SVO will build into the curriculum a progression of necessary skills that will serve students both in and out of the classroom. “What we understand to be true about these skills is that they are essential life skills. When you leave North Shore High School and get out into the workplace, chances are your employer is going to need you to solve problems, and communicate with purpose and to be collaborative,” he said. “What we’re hoping to do is use these skills as a springboard to position kids to be good people and be productive workers in college and beyond.”

The next school board meeting will be held on Thursday, 0ct. 12, at 7:30 p.m. in the Glenwood Landing Elementary School theatre.