• Denton Creek Becoming A School Of Communications

    We’ve had a great beginning to our school year, & first & foremost I want to sincerely thank you for your contributions to our Write A Check campaign.  Your generosity truly makes a difference for us at Denton Creek, & we are grateful!

    I wanted to share with you more details about Denton Creek becoming a School of Communications.

    Our campus guiding principle is: Our learners will be challenged to find their voice through communication and collaboration in order to be globally connected to their world and prepared to transform it as they become masterful, prolific communicators.

    Our guiding principle is what drives us – the propelling force or mission of our school.

    First, please realize that we are working as a school to TRANSFORM the way we do things, but transformation doesn’t happen overnight – it is a process.

    At Denton Creek we are working hard to create a vibrant environment in order to develop our learner’s best skills to think & act in an increasingly communication-based world.

    Communication is at the center of our lives & understanding.  It is the means by which we collaborate, connect, & contribute with others in our global society.  Our charge as Denton Creek educators is to prepare & nurture learners that can confidently articulate their thinking in a variety of communication modalities.  Denton Creek embodies the communication initiative through special programs such as PPCD, Structured Learning, our Vocabulary program, & the growing Dual Immersion programs.

    We will encompass & embrace all modes of communication & give learners specific feedback on the communication skills they are learning through the learning outcomes we developed last Spring and our learners will be assessed using the Communications rubrics teachers have created.

    We will emphasize the 4 C’s (also known as the “Soft Skills”) throughout the course of the year.  The 4 C’s in which we will immerse our learners are: Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking, & Creativity.  We would also like to add a fifth C which is Contribution – it is this piece that will enable our students to create & contribute on a global level.

    We envision our School of Communications as a space for creating knowledge & influencing society.  Our goal is to maximize learning for our learners through effective communication, successful collaboration with diverse groups, expression of their individual creativity, & critical thinking in all learning situations which extend beyond the walls of Denton Creek.

    Our technology will be infused so that it is seamlessly used in most appropriate ways to develop the 4 C’s in all learners.  Technology is an integral tool used purposefully & intentionally to deepen the level of learning our learners experience.

    We are tweeting as a campus not only to inform parents, but also to expand our own networks, grow professionally, & to be globally connected.  Our learners are brilliant & their genius needs to be leveraged to greater degrees.

    We are creating authentic learning experiences that will transform thinking by empowering learners to explore diverse ideas to make meaning of their world.  Our educators will design lesson plans & plan critically based on daily, ongoing differentiated assessments using the UBD (Understanding by Design) model.  Our goal is to create relevant instruction through which learners will internalize & personalize meanings in ways they never have before.

    We expect that every learner:

    ·      Will be prepared for a globally-linked society with others through voice & print

    ·      Will develop an appreciation & understanding of the importance of communication in the world,

    ·      Will focus on INQUIRY related to a student’s role in the giving & receiving or information,

    ·      Will explore themes with global significance that require higher levels of thinking,

    ·      Will foster a PASSION in our students of today to help them become contributors to tomorrow.

    ·      Will effectively use diverse forms of communication

    ·      Will write proficiently in different genres

    ·      Will work cooperatively & exhibit self-esteem & pride to communicate utilizing different media

    In a nutshell we are aiming for higher student engagement, more collaboration among students, students creating more projects which gives them more voice & choice, technology in the hands of students, Inquiry-based instruction, peer-teaching, & evidence that students are connecting globally.

    We’re putting together a Student “Design Team” where our learners will have more of a voice in the transformation that we are working towards.

    We’re also working to create a student broadcast center where students will have opportunities to create projects that they are passionate about.

    We are working to Transform our Library into a true 21st Century library.  We’ve included an I-pad café, a Collaboration Station & are working to make the library our school living room.  We have also renamed our library – it’s now called “Library 21.”

    Teachers are working to become “facilitators” as they guide our learners to make meaning for themselves which is based on the Constructivist Theory of teaching that the district is training us on this year.  Teachers are heavily involved in improving their pedagogy & are working to ensure that their instruction meets the needs of the 21st Century learner.

    At the heart of our belief system we celebrate that every one of our stakeholders will play a vital role in transforming our campus culture not only instructionally but also by feeding the social, emotional, & intellectual needs of each individual learner.

    Relationships still drive everything we do.  We will continue to cultivate healthy relationships which advance our vision & strengthen our guiding purpose as we transform lives – as well as instruction – intentionally & purposefully.

    This is an exciting time in the history of Denton Creek.  I would like to eventually see a partnership with UNT’s Broadcasting school.  If you have suggestions for our School of Communication, please share them with us as the best is yet to come!

    Many of these lessons will be integrated within our core subjects, but my expectation is that you will also hear your children talking about the 4 C’s more & more throughout the year.

    We will focus more on COMMUNICATION skills during the second nine weeks.  COLLABORATION will be emphasized to a greater degree during the third nine weeks & CREATIVITY & CRITICAL THINKING will be highlighted during the fourth nine weeks.  (Of course all of the  4 C’s will be integrated throughout the year as well.)

    Finally, I’d like to invite you to join me next Friday, October 26th for my first “Second Cup of Coffee” dialogue at 8:30 in the library.  I will be discussing our School of Communications.

    Thank you for your continued support of our school - I appreciate you more than you know!

    Bryan McLain