A High School Educational Visioning Process was initiated October 2014 through February 2015 with a committee of approximately 30 school staff, students, parents and administrators to develop ideas that support emerging trends in teaching and learning. The purpose of their planning was to help ensure the new high school facility will be responsive to the needs and success of all students as they prepare and adapt to a changing world. Through a series of work sessions, the committee reached consensus on the following key priorities for the school’s educational vision which will be used to help guide the school's renovation. They envision a school model that:
- is flexible,
- supports student collaboration,
- is learner-centered,
- integrates technology,
- allows for project-based learning,
- promotes interdisciplinary instruction,
- and supports the social/emotional needs of students.
A summary of this important work was presented to the School Board on January 22, 2015. Assistant
Superintendents Jeff Hogan and Ryan Stokes, and Mount Si Principal John Belcher, discussed the process, results and next
steps, along with input from student representatives Baly Botten and Adrienne Barnhart who participated on the committee. To watch the voice-over presentation, click on the image below.
Snapshots from the Mount Si High School Visioning work sessions and high school staff meetings.
Message from the Principal: Vision for Re-Building Mount Si High School“We are excited about the potential of a facility that will better meet the needs of our students, 21st Century learning, and the approaches to teaching that are showing significant engagement, achievement, and motivation for teachers and students.
Often the focus of a new building is on looks and competing with our neighbors, rather than what our MSHS Visioning Team has come up with for the new facility. We are focused on teaching students in the manner that is showing the most promise, and the current facility is a challenge to do that in.
We need a facility that will house and educate students for another 50+ years that has the spaces, programs, and facilities that can match the changes and demands of the future. Education has changed and the needs of the workforce have changed. We need a facility that best matches those changes.
The vision for the future of Mount Si High School involves more access to student services in centralized locations, so that more students will engage with the resources that will help them be successful. Currently, student services are on two different campuses, in several different locations throughout both campuses, and not utilized to their full potential by students. We would like to see these services — like Counselors, Administration, Food Services, Library, Career Center and Security — all housed in an area that is directly associated with where students want to hang out and in turn, will utilize more.
We envision better security, safety and efficiencies in student movement to maximize our instructional minutes with students.
We envision flexible classrooms that are more conducive to collaboration and current approaches to teaching like Project Based Learning, STEM approaches and new vocational programs that promote skills and experience in demand by our economy.
We envision more student talk then teacher talk, and that will require specialized furniture, specialized classrooms with flexible arrangements, and places where students can work in teams.
We would like to create smaller learning communities so that a large 4A high school feels like a smaller school with staff that know students well.
We would like to reduce the silo effect of departmentalizing the high school (placing classes like math in one hallway) and increase cross collaboration by putting a variety of content areas in similar vicinities to increase interdisciplinary approaches. We want to increase the personalization of each student’s education to ensure they are supported to reaching their goals.
A new facility would promote increased communication about student needs, increase the potential to better meet students’ needs, and increase both student and staff collaboration. This in turn, through research, will lead to more students being prepared for the demands of 21st Century careers.
We are grateful that this community values Mount Si High School and our student body.”
~ John Belcher, Mount Si High School Principal