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K12 school leaders forecast top 2017 trends

Decision-makers share thoughts on
Patricia Baltzley, board chair of the Gardiner School District in Montana, many high schools will to redesigned to meet new instructional needs.
Patricia Baltzley, board chair of the Gardiner School District in Montana, many high schools will to redesigned to meet new instructional needs.

Patricia Baltzley

Board chair, Gardiner School District (Mont.)

"The way high schools are currently designed—both with architecture and teaching and learning—needs to be revisioned in all high schools, not just those considered innovative. Instructional needs of the students are different and will continue to be different. We need to get out of the Industrial Age of schooling and move into a more progressive stage."

Jim Westrum

Executive director, finance and business, Wayzata Public Schools (Minn.)

"Districts will implement strategic safety programs to better support the physical, mental and social-emotional well-being of students, staff and families. Secondary schools may start later; districts will develop and implement comprehensive protocols for reporting and addressing concerns, train staff on issues such recognizing abuse, bullying and  suicide prevention – and clearly communicate protocols to staff, students, parents and the community."

Orin Williams 

Assistant superintendent, facilities & governmental relations, Santa Ana USD (Calif.)

“With the NAACP and others recently calling for a moratorium on charter schools, issues surrounding poor-quality charters, inequity and the impact charters have on collective-bargaining will dramatically increase with regard to education reform.”

Dan Haddow

Chief of staff, Germantown Municipal School District (Tenn.)

“Khan Academy and Acton Academy are going to disrupt public education through their self-paced guided learning strategies tied to technology, having a theme associated with every child being a hero, and mentoring programs to facilitate their mission.”

Connie Calderon

Principal, Lincoln Elementary, Cook County School District (Ill.)

“There has been such a heavy focus on assessments and data that students and teachers are so stressed. The increase in children with depression and anxiety is going to lead at looking at Common Core State Standards and other learning standards and revamp them to more child developmentally appropriate.”

Kim Loomis

Innovative projects coordinator, Clark County School District (Nev.)

“The movement to meet individual student needs will force classroom to change from grade or age -based, to needs-based. Technology already allows for student to remediate and accelerate while sitting next to each other. This will expand classrooms to "WIN" arenas. “What I Need” (WIN) learning environments are starting in small pockets and will gain traction.”

Carl Shuptrine

Media arts teacher, Jackson Hole High School, Teton County School District (Wyo.)

“As virtual reality technology drops in price and virtual content becomes more abundant, virtual field trips will become a cost effective way to provide students with increased exposure to the world beyond their own communities. Virtual chat technologies, like those being developed by Facebook, will also allow for richer distance learning and increased opportunities for global classroom collaboration.”