The Danville Independent School District is seeking community input on a draft version of the new Danville Diploma before it is finalized. The survey closes on June 25.
“We want to make sure the new Danville Diploma resonates with other people, and that our parents and community members see this and agree that this is what we want for our students,” said Chief Academic Officer Suzanne Farmer.
Please complete the survey linked below. Continue reading for background information and more about the process of creating a new Danville Diploma.
The current Danville Diploma was created about a decade ago under former Superintendent Carmen Coleman. It was one of the first official portraits of a graduate in the state.
Though the same skills and qualities outlined in the old Danville Diploma will still be taught, the purpose of creating the new version is to simplify and clarify the language, Farmer said.
Also, the old version of the Danville Diploma outlined qualities the district aimed for students to have when they graduate. The new version summarizes the district’s expectations for the qualities of a Danville learner broadly enough that they can be applied to all ages.
A team of teacher representatives from each school in the district put together the draft of the new Danville Diploma.
“We’re not just making this about what does it look like when somebody graduates from the Danville Schools, but what does it look like to be a learner in the Danville Schools,” Farmer said. “We know that all of our students, preschool through 12th grade, should have these skills taught intentionally and have those experiences and opportunities that will allow us to provide them with lessons or situations that would nurture these skills.”
As it stands, the draft of the new Danville Diploma reads, “During the process of earning a Danville Diploma, all students will have support, experiences, and opportunities which develop the attributes of a Danville learner.” It then summarizes a Portrait of a Danville Learner as an Empowered Learner, Creative Problem Solver, Productive Collaborator, Effective Communicator, Community Contributor and Culturally Competent Citizen.
“We decided we wanted to call it Portrait of a Learner because the emphasis is not just on what this looks like when you graduate, but this is an ongoing process,” Farmer said. “It’s appropriate for all students, and we see this learning will happen after graduation too. If we’ve created you to be an empowered learner and a culturally-competent citizen and a community contributor and all of these things, that doesn’t stop when you graduate.”
Much of the language in the draft of the new Danville Diploma was shaped by input from the strategic planning committee, which is composed of staff, caregivers, local businesses, community leaders and other stakeholders. The strategic planning committee is working on a new strategic plan for the district, which will shape learning and other school operations going forward.
Farmer said once the district gathers community input on the new Danville Diploma draft, it will be presented to the Board of Education in July, the graphics will be finalized to provide more visual interest, and then it will be in place in August and discussed during staff trainings before the start of the school year.
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