Introduction and Vison
Missoula County Public Schools (MCPS), through its Forward Thinking, High Achieving: 21st Century Initiative, is positioning its educational community to be among the best in the nation. Missoula’s pursuit of excellence, equity, and broad-based involvement has its foundation in its five District goals.
- Achievement and graduation for all students, regardless of their circumstances and abilities.
- Refine and implement a quality supervision and evaluation program for all staff.
- Define and implement a quality professional development program that encompasses best practices and supports the needs of all staff.
- Restructure the organization to become more efficient, effective, and accountable to support the goals of the District.
- Cultivate and enhance staff, student, parent, business, and community involvement.
The 21st Century Initiative is driven by an awareness that the children of Missoula need to acquire and apply skills differently than in the past. The MCPS community-at-large, students, and staff speak to the need for a system of education that more deliberately supports students as they develop the skills and competencies required by the local and global economy that include creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration. The literature about 21st century teaching and learning also supports Missoula’s pursuit of a system that is aligned with the economic, political, and social realities of the 21st century.
In MCPS, multiple district and community stakeholders are engaged in defining teaching and learning that will prepare its students to be productive and prosperous citizens. This project’s data collection and model creation processes provided community members, parents, and staff with the opportunity to participate in self-examination, exploration, and prioritization. They considered what students should know and be able to do to achieve success, as well as how different stakeholder groups facilitate the development of these skills and competencies. Both the what and the how are reflected in the Student Outcomes (Appendix E).
Across all stakeholder groups, there is widespread agreement that meeting the needs of all students necessitates the creation of a learning environment that is engaging, reflects the technologies currently available, and capitalizes on the expertise within the District and the community. Ultimately, stakeholders seek an educational system that is responsive to the needs of students and the world in which they will pursue postsecondary education and employment.
Guided by the Student Outcomes, a District-designated team of teachers, administrators, and other staff participated in an action planning process to synthesize, prioritize, and bring greater specificity to the ideas generated during data collection and model development. Their work is reflected in the Vision for 21st Century Teaching and Learning, Model of Change, and Roadmap contained within this document.
- The Vision for 21st Century Teaching and Learning demonstrates the District’s commitment to engage in 21st century teaching and learning to better serve its student population.
- The Model of Change prioritizes the work of the District and community stakeholders and fosters goal creation related to their suggestions for changes in procedures, structures, and supports.
- The Roadmap consists of goal action maps that detail timelines, persons responsible, resources, implementation steps, and measures of success that support the 21st Century Initiative.
This document will support MCPS in its efforts to actualize its vision, transition to 21st century teaching and learning, and monitor its progress in achieving its goals. By regularly reviewing the components of the Roadmap, Missoula can continue on its positive trajectory of change.
The goal action maps represent an ambitious and comprehensive initial effort to overcome the status quo. As part of this effort, MCPS should regularly monitor its actions toward implementation, recognize the achievement of intermediate outcomes, and determine the impact of evolving opportunities and challenges. Through reflection, this document can continually serve as the impetus and guide for the District as it experiments and evolves to achieve its goals.