In Federal Way, we set high expectations for our students: Academic success
and personal responsibility for learning are both high on the list. At the
same time, we also expect a lot from our schools. They should be safe, effective,
student-centered places to learn and grow.
It’s About Improved Learning for All Students
This year and next, Federal Way Public Schools will take huge strides toward meeting these great expectations. This site contains information about what lies ahead, as we transition to four-year high schools and 6th-8th grade middle schools by the fall of 2003.
What Does Transition Mean for Our Students, Parents, and Staff?
Change rarely happens without a bump or two. Generally, whatever change you're making, you have to step out of your comfort zone and, usually, you have to give up something - friends, familiar ways of doing things, the school you thought you'd go to, the workplace that you've made a second home for years.
Even if making the change is your own idea, you are likely to feel sadness and loss. If the change is not your idea, you may even experience denial and anger before you reach a point of resolution and acceptance.
At Federal Way Schools, we know that change is difficult for employees, parents and students. Yet we also know that the changes we are making are vital to our students' futures. The changes we are implementing are based, not on theories, but on “best practices” – methods and structures proven in schools across the country to produce better learning. In other words, these are things that have been tried at schools aross the country and are shown to be effective.
Every secondary school in the district has a committee working on individual school transition plans with the goal of improving learning for all students by designing a system that emphasizes individualized learning opportunities.
Students are far from the only ones affected. As we've worked to develop our plans for transition, it has become obvious that we are also creating a better system for parents and the community - one that provides more opportunities for their involvement, and that helps develop young adults who have more to offer back.
Ultimately, these changes offer many benefits for our teachers and other employees, on whom the burden of change has fallen most heavily. We've asked schools to develop plans that create more planning time, smaller classes, less isolation and, overall, a more rewarding teaching experience. All in all, a better environment for teaching - and learning!