Critical Thinking in the New School Year

Mr KowalskiWelcome back, Eagles! It is finally time to welcome our students back into our schools’ doors and into our classrooms where we will embark on new adventures. This year students will become scientists, historians, inventors, artists and authors - the options are limitless!
The most important skill for students to develop in the 21st century is critical thinking. Individuals who are capable of and embrace independent, critical thought are more equipped to reach their potential in academic achievement, character development, productive citizenship and independent living - all of which are key areas of our mission as a school district. 
We will inspire critical thinking in our students through new ways of teaching and new opportunities in the classroom, such as robotics, digital electronics and advanced chemistry at the high school, courses on effective study skills and personal finance at our middle school, and expanded gifted services at the elementary school.
Critical thinking is also a theme in our professional development for all of our staff members. During our August teacher professional development days, we were guided by national speaker and awarding-winning author, Weston Kieschnick, who focused on blended learning using our one-to-one technology and the planning of rigorous and relevant lessons as well as relationship building. District staff will also continue to dive deeper into implementing research-based best instructional practices through Dr. Bill Daggett's Model School concepts and John Hattie's research for effectiveness throughout the year. We want to give our teachers the skills and knowledge they need to inspire deep, critical thinking with research-based teaching strategies that incorporate technology and student interests.

All of these opportunities to develop critical thinking in our students and staff are possible because of our community’s support of our schools. Thank you again to everyone who voted in support of the ballot issue this past May. Because of your support and the district’s ongoing strong fiscal management, we are able to continue our tradition of excellence and ensure that we are preparing each student to reach their potential and continue to offer an exceptional learning experience for our students.
Our commitment to you is that we will keep moving forward, we will continue innovating and finding new and better ways to support our community’s children in reaching their potential. The options are limitless and we are looking forward to all the ways we will grow together this year.
Mark Kowalski
Liberty-Benton Local Schools

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