In this episode of the We Love Schools podcast, host Carole Dorn-Bell and recurring guest Diane Egbers, of Leadership Excelleration (LEI), discuss recent changes to the Ohio Department of Education’s strategic plan.

The Ohio Department of Education introduced a new five-year plan that puts less emphasis on test scores to cater to each individual student. The new plan will shift away from the traditional academic measures of success and instead focus on helping students succeed after graduating high school.

Diane offers tips you need now to develop goals for this new plan, which includes four equal learning domains:

  1. The foundations and knowledge and skills
  2. Well-rounded content
  3. Leadership and reasoning
  4. Social and emotional learning.

“I think it fits so much with the strategic planning and the leader development we are doing district by district in that there needs to be a definitive plan for each of those four components in order to really have students that are ready for the rapidly changing world and for their future,” Diane says. “The data presented in the plan is really interesting in terms of just that desire to increase the percentage of high school graduates, to really address the equity and disparity needs in all Ohio schools, but especially in these four domains.”

Carole and Diane discuss the state’s emphasis on the four domains being equal. Diane says that’s important because social/emotional behavior is so important to overall health and well-being.

The two talk about how many districts are at the beginning of this work. Diane says that her organization likes to share a few things that have been helpful, including looking at their fundamental values, developing a portrait of a graduate and looking at character foundations.

Thinking about social/emotional learning, it is important that a foundation is laid in K-5 for children to be successful.

“We’ve not encountered a district in our strategic planning and leadership time we spend with so many districts that isn’t focused on the whole child,” Diane says.

Carole asks about helpful tips for setting goals. Diane notes it is important to think about three-year time frames for goals and to not rush it. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and a three-year strategy for social/emotional learning is appropriate.

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