- Vision for Curriculum and Programs
- Vision for Partnerships
- Vision for School Environment and Culture
- Program Vision Through the Years
As our vision is implemented, Niskayuna students will:
- See a problem, find multiple solutions to solving that problem and understand that the process involves making mistakes.
- Demonstrate resilience: Understand that mistakes are not failure and encouraged.
- Understand that there are multiple pathways to success and know how to access them.
- Collaborate: Build a project in real time with other people.
- Be kind.
- Become fluent in modern technology (used in work/professional settings).
- Navigate social media in a healthy way.
- Develop a network of support to help reach goals, celebrate success, and navigate challenges.
- Know the mental health supports that are available and feel comfortable accessing them.
Hands on and/or Project Based Learning in All Disciplines
- Students work on real world problems: authentic tasks that involve cross curricular learning and working on a team
- Students are consistently asked to be problem solvers
- Flexible delivery style to meet all students
- Emphasis is on growth toward standards and recognizing progress through narratives and not solely grades
- Assignments are individualized
Flexible Instructional Time
- Students have opportunities to work on projects until they are complete and begin new projects on their own timeline
- Students demonstrate mastery of standards at different times that allow them to move at different rates (acceleration & extended learning time)
A Culture of Authentic, Real-World Experiences
- Students have off-campus learning experiences, including short- and-long-term internships
- The entire district is a classroom; Internship opportunities are available in all facets of the organization
- Opportunities to demonstrate what is learned through more authentic (less paper-and-pencil) assessments and work portfolios
Vision for Partnerships
Working Together to Support Kids
- An early learning (age 1-5) partnership program
- County agencies are in schools working with kids and families
- Adult mentors, representing different backgrounds and career areas, promote confidence, social development and relationship-building skills
- Parents are in school regularly using school resources to help their children (e.g. Parent University, workshops with teachers)
- All students engage in community service
- Partnerships with other school districts and shared services to expand opportunities for students and access to skilled professionals
- Continue to expand University in the high school
- A culture of partnerships in the organization supports in-district internships
Vision for School Environment and Culture
Flexible Settings and Work Spaces
- Space within the school promotes collaboration and can accommodate multiple uses
- Work happens in school, but also outside of it
- Space in each school where the entire school and community can come together to learn and celebrate in their own building
- Eco-friendly buildings that are efficient, socially responsible and real-live learning labs
Social and Emotional Growth and Support
- A diverse faculty and staff meets the needs of all students
- Continued social, emotional, and equity training for all staff members
- Mental health facilities on-site to support students and families
- Knowledge and social emotional level determine advancement, not age and assigned grade level
- Every student has an adult mentor – someone they know cares about them and trusts them
- Kindness, appreciation of others and equity in opportunities is embedded in all aspects of the school
- Students and staff are eager to come to school; When students are not engaged there is space and support to enable them to re-enter the learning community when they are ready
- Common gathering spaces for eating and other activities that promote nutrition, positive social interactions, and greater awareness of wellness and culture
Program Vision Through the Years
- Every student has direct instruction on non-negotiable standards with the emphasis still on project-based learning
- World Language instruction and exposure to many cultures begins in elementary school
- Emphasis on intervention in K-1 so students can build on a strong foundation in future years
Teamwork and Growth
- Students are on teams, of faculty and students who they stay with for multiple years
- Students engage in project-based learning opportunities with outside mentors
- The team setting enables a focus on problem-solving and communication
- Mentors provide an opportunity for real-world practice and exploration
Opportunities for In-Depth Exploration
- Students take specialized courses, earn college credit and/or industry credentials
- Guaranteed internships for all interested students
- Expanded pathways to graduation, college and careers