Throughout the 2019-2020 school year, Avalon staff met to reflect on our last five year and make new strategic goals going forward. Looking back, staff saw a very successful last few years and, though they were not without challenges, too a moment to reflect and celebrate. In the course of our last strategic plan (2014-2019), Avalon grew in many areas. We worked to:
- Reframe and better align our practices in Deeper Learning
- Revamp our internal project process
- Transition to an entirely new project management software (Headrush)
- Expand learning opportunities for students
- Consciously include student identity into student work
- Pilot an anti-bias curriculum with all students
- Create twice-annual job and internship fairs with 20+ organizations
- Expand our use of community experts within projects
- Host over 400 yearly guests to teach others about Avalon’s teacher-powered and project-based model
- Presented to audiences across the country (both staff AND students)
- Piloted the Minnesota Learner-Centered Network (MNLCN.org)
With these successes (and plenty of lessons-learned) in mind, staff spent the year visualizing the next five years, a task that began with updating Avalon’s own Mission and Values. As we looked ahead to our 20th year of operation, it was vital to take time to reflect on what has been an enormously successful two decades of innovation.
Avalon’s Strategic Plan (8/11/2020)
We have identified four related strands for our 2020-2025 strategic plan:
- Student-Centered Learning
- Whole Child Supports
- Create, implement, and monitor learning opportunities to engage all students through a robust curriculum that is regularly examined to identify and reduce bias across diverse racial, ethnic, sexual, and gender identities.
- Create a better onboarding system for students in the fall and throughout the school year.
- Create better policy & practices around media access and use.
- Create environments that support student learning as it relates to culturally responsive teaching and learning.
Whole Child Support
- Increase staff training towards Healing-Centered Engagement. - all training via an equity lens.
- Work with students to strive to adopt healthy behaviors around their physical, mental, social, tech/media, and academic health, influenced by best practices learned through Healing-Centered Engagement professional learning.
- Redefine and refine our use of space with the focus on healing-centered engagement. (Overlap with several other groups and could live elsewhere.)
- Evaluate staffing to create a staffing structure that equitably supports both students and staff, while efficiently using school resources (both space and staff).
- Sustain an equitable work environment by creating systems that promote inclusivity, healthy ownership, streamlined communication, and accountability.
- Nurture a culture of professional growth
- Create and maintain a supportive, inclusive, and culturally relevant social-emotional learning community environment for students and families of diverse racial, ethnic, sexual, and gender identities, and ability within our school and in our greater community.
- Evaluate current activities, community and student groups to identify ways to be more inclusive of students and family members of diverse racial, ethnic, sexual, and gender identities and expand offerings to meet student needs.
- Develop and maintain strong, authentic relationships with a wide representation of community organizations in order to provide students with meaningful, relevant opportunities for real-world learning experiences both inside and outside of the school walls.
- Create and continuously improve school program offerings to be culturally responsive and collaborative with specific communities outside of the school in an effort to recruit and retain students of a wide range of abilities, gender and sexuality, racial and socioeconomic backgrounds.