An overview of Finan's plans

| 28 Sep 2011 | 03:00

    WESTFALL - Dr. Candis Finan outlined a six-point plan for the district’s future and many examples for its implementation. “We will increase emphasis on the additional knowledge and skills students will need for the 21st century.” Finan said she will focus on six key elements for fostering 21st century learning. Those elements and some of the associated programs: • Emphasize core subjects that the federal “No Child Left Behind” Act of 2001 identifies, which are English, reading or language arts, mathematics, science, foreign languages, civics, government, economics, arts, history and geography; • Emphasize learning skills including information and communication skills, thinking and problem-solving skills. • Use 21st century tools to develop those learning skills. In a digital world, students need to learn to use the tools that are essential to everyday life and workplace productivity. Some examples she gave included integrated technology in reading, technical reading and writing. • Teach and learn in a 21st century context. Students need to learn academic content through real-world examples. Finan would develop an Alternative On-Line Academy for all students and add online staff development. • Teach and learn 21st century content, emphasizing global awareness; financial, economic and business literacy; and civic literacy. Finan proposed the addition of Mandarin Chinese, Forensic Science, a Diet and Exercise course, Journalism and Broadcast Journalism to the curriculum, while lacrosse and a marching band would be added as extracurricular activities. • Use 21st century assessments that measure 21st century skills. Delaware Valley will use high-quality standardized tests that measure students’ performance of the elements of a 21st century education. The district would add a series of mini courses summer for enrichment and for remediation in core areas, as well as new advanced placement courses including Art, Music and Statistics.