Future Ready Schools (FRS) is a project of the Alliance for Excellent Education, a Washington D.C.-based non-profit, bipartisan, educational organization whose mission is to expand opportunities for all students, especially those from underserved or marginalized communities nationwide.
FRS-School Boards will provide a suite of helpful tools and free resources for school board members to connect with their communities, support a culture of innovation within their schools, and promote a vision for teaching and learning that is student-centered, forward-thinking, and designed to meet the vast needs of today’s learners. The goal of the strand will be to support Superintendents and School Boards in working together to ultimately support our learners and creating the types of learning experiences today’s modern learners need.
A key component of the program is the FRS-School Boards Framework which will help school board members forge a visionary and systemic path to support long-term academic, financial, and political sustainability. Included in the framework are eight “gears” focused on personalized instruction for students; ongoing and job-embedded learning; robust infrastructure; strategic fiscal planning; community partnerships; the use of data to transform instruction and support students; support for anywhere, anytime learning; and collaborative leadership.
FRS prides themselves in ensuring that their work is extremely relevant for today’s leaders. I will be serving nationally as one of a group of advisors who will weigh in on the organization's work in the new School Boards Strand, and provide insight and guidance into what tools and resources are needed. Advisors will be comprised of select Superintendents and School Directors from across the country, from California, New York, Ohio, North Carolina -- and now Pennsylvania!
My colleagues on the board currently serve as liaisons to several committees with regular reports at board meetings -- Lehigh County Technical Institute, the Carbon-Lehigh Intermediate Unit, and Legislative Affairs. In addition to these reports, I will be sharing the work I do in my new advisory role and will seek input from my colleagues in that process. Our work as a Board will now have a direct line to the work being done in support of school districts nationally!
As part of that "direct line," the East Penn School Board will now have access to helpful tools and resources embedded in the School Boards Framework to
- support and communicate a learner-centric vision that provides personal and authentic learning experiences and supports
- social-emotional development for all students;
- adopt curriculum, aligned to state standards, that ensures deeper learning outcomes connected to real-world applications, promotes positive digital citizenship, and prepares learners for future success;
- ensure equity in access to high-quality devices and the bandwidth needed to support student learning at school and at home;
- adopt budgets that align with strategic and tactical plans while working to eliminate expenses that no longer support the district’s vision; and
- adopt clear policies and support practices on the use of student data that ensure high levels of data privacy and security and that adhere to state and federal laws.
FRS has already had a direct, positive impact on the work done within our schools. Several of our administrative team members have participated in the Future Ready learning sessions over the past two years. The learning in these sessions has helped us as we continue to improve teaching and learning in East Penn.
From their recent press release:
The Alliance for Excellent Education (All4Ed) is a Washington, DC–based national policy, practice, and advocacy non-profit organization committed to improving educational outcomes—and lives—of students, with a focus on those in middle and high school. We embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion and specifically advocate on behalf of all students who are historically underserved or marginalized.
Future Ready Schools® (FRS) is a bold effort to maximize digital learning opportunities and help school districts move quickly toward preparing students for success in college, careers, and citizenship. FRS provides districts with resources and support to ensure that local technology and digital learning plans align with instructional best practices, are implemented by highly trained teachers, and lead to personalized learning experiences for all students, particularly those from traditionally underserved communities. FRS is led by the Alliance for Excellent Education alongside a vast coalition of organizations.