Dr. Alan S. Futrick
Assistant Superintendent of Muhlenberg School DistrictThe 2019-20 school year is filled with excitement and anticipation for the Muhlenberg School District. Building on the success of our Literacy and STEM initiatives, we have developed an Action Plan to provide us with pathways of empowerment and operations for our district. Our central focus continues to be a holistic approach to 21st Century Teaching and Learning.The most important initiative our district has undertaken over this time has been Mental Health. This initiative is critical to our success because it is essential at every stage of life, from childhood to adolescence through adulthood. It includes emotional, psychological and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.We have also spent a considerable amount of our professional learning time to develop and grow as 21st century educators over the past six years. Moving beyond the transmission model of teaching (basic skill sets, memorization, and computation) to teaching higher order thinking skills will prepare students for the future. Skills such as problem solving, leadership, flexibility, analyzing, and interpreting are the cornerstones for life, work, and citizenship in the 21st century. Constructing opportunities and authentic experiences for our students to apply their critical thinking, problem solving, and collaborative skills has allowed our district to make significant improvements in the areas of Literacy and STEM.Six years ago we established our Engaged Classroom Initiative to create the proper conditions necessary for our students to thrive in a 21st century learning environment. This year, all students in grades 3 to 9 will be using Chromebooks in the one-to-one model. All of our students in Kdg to 2nd grade will be using iPads in the one-to-one model. All of our teachers benefit from our five 21st Century Teaching and Learning Coaches. Our Coaches provide focused and meaningful professional development on a frequent basis to teachers that allows them to have an even greater impact on student learning.As we continue to emerge with 21st Century Teaching and Learning methods and strategies, we continually analyze the effectiveness of our programs and resources to ensure we are effectively meeting the needs of all our children.