After a lengthy application process, Williamsfield Schools has been chosen as 1 of 10 school districts to participate in a statewide competency-based learning pilot. The Illinois State Board of Education launched the pilot program to spur innovation in the way high schools prepare students for meaningful careers. The program is a product of the Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness Act, passed unanimously by both legislative houses and signed into law by Governor Bruce Rauner in 2016.
“The way we prepare students for college and career must evolve if we want to fuel a thriving economy and healthy communities,” said State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D. “When students leave our schools, they should leave with the keys to open multiple doors, any of which can lead to a successful future.”
“The 10 school districts participating in the first cohort of the Competency-Based High School Graduation Requirements Pilot are opening new doors for students and educators,” said Smith. “These districts are modeling the future I want to see in Illinois - innovative, led by educators, supportive of the whole child and of every student reaching their full potential, and with schools at the center of healthy communities.”
Participation in this pilot gives us increased flexibility to meet the needs of our kids. It allows us to place greater emphasis on skill development and less emphasis on “seat time.” It also allows us to better personalize the high school experience, giving our kids more opportunities to pursue their passions and position themselves for success. At the end of the day, our participation in the pilot program will help us transition our high school culture from one of chasing credits in order to be done to an environment where more of our students view the high school experience as an opportunity to prepare themselves to lead personally productive lives.
Be sure to check out the News Channel 8 feature on Williamsfield Schools here. We couldn’t be more excited for our students and staff, and we are extremely grateful for the opportunity to participate. We can’t wait to see the positive impact this has on our kids!