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Thinking, Creating, Reflecting: Impacting the Future

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Letter from the Principal: Mar. 12th, 2021

Dear Spectrum Community,

As the rest of the world cites research to justify reopening schools this month, I am again struck by the simple fact that we have been open since mid-August with NO whole-school closures due to COVID! We know we will need to continue to mask, hand wash, and social distance (as best as feasible) into 2021-22, but with the teachers and staff vaccinated, we will be positioned to mix and mingle cohorts and resume things like Interest Groups and field trips. This is very heartening. Thank you for believing in us.

Compelling research on the future of schooling was recently released by the World Economic Forum. Eight critical skills line up with the thinking and strategic conversations in which I have been engaging since even before I came to Spectrum. With the world universally poised for something better across the education sector, it is a good time to revisit these concepts. I believe they are embedded in Spectrum’s philosophy and history, and what brought me and my family to Rockford. Please join me as parents and key stakeholders in reflecting on these skills and considering what our next level of growth is as a school moving forward to curb never staying stagnant, complacent, or idle. 

  1. Global citizenship skills: Include content that focuses on building awareness about the wider world, sustainability and playing an active role in the global community. 
  2. Innovation and creativity skills: Include content that fosters skills required for innovation, including complex problem-solving, analytical thinking, creativity and systems analysis. 
  3. Technology skills: Include content that is based on developing digital skills, including programming, digital responsibility and the use of technology.
  4. Interpersonal skills: Include content that focuses on interpersonal emotional intelligence, including empathy, cooperation, negotiation, leadership and social awareness.
  5. Personalized and self-paced learning: Move from a system where learning is standardized, to one based on the diverse individual needs of each learner, and flexible enough to enable each learner to progress at their own pace.
  6. Accessible and inclusive learning: Move from a system where learning is confined to those with access to school buildings to one in which everyone has access to learning and is therefore inclusive. 
  7. Problem-based and collaborative learning: Move from process-based to project- and problem-based content delivery, requiring peer collaboration and more closely mirroring the future of work. 
  8. Lifelong and student-driven learning: Move from a system where learning and skilling decrease over one’s lifespan to one where everyone continuously improves on existing skills and acquires new ones based on their individual needs.

Regarding our March 2021 Hero Squad, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) – Share your Spare Change Campaign. We have participated in the LLS Hero Squad throughout my time at Spectrum, even through the pandemic closure last year. I’d like to continue our legacy, but scale back a little. I will not have trinkets or rewards, but would like to have families send in their spare change in any kind of container over the next few weeks, deadline March 19. No competition, no prizes, just a way to give back to families who are facing the nightmare of childhood cancers.

Dr. Mary Beth Cunat

Principal

Spectrum School  

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