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District Targets

The Whitman Wildcat Way 2018-19

District Targets



Faculty at the four school buildings self-identified three instructional elements at the end of the 14-15 school year that make the greatest difference in student learning. Of all of the instructional elements identified across the District, student engagement was the one element that resonated at each building. According to research, Dr. Michael Schmoker explains, “The ultimate engagement is to put the learner in charge of learning. Create a rich learning environment and a motivation to learn.” Dr. Anne Davies also claims, “Research indicates that closing in on a goal triggers a part of the brain linked to motivation.”


Engagement has grown over the last three years, a critical and rewarding response to the needs of all learners.  We must continue to move forward beyond engagement to empowering all of our learners.  A learner who is engaged learns because they are interested; a learner who is empowered learns because they want to. They see value in creating a difference for themselves and others through their education. As individuals and a community of learners, we must move past a growth mindset to an Innovative mindset.  George Couros describes an Innovators Mindset as, “the belief that the abilities, intelligence, and talents are developed so that they lead to the creation of new and better ideas.” ― George CourosThe Innovator's Mindset: Empower Learning, Unleash Talent, and Lead a Culture of Creativity

Attributes of Learner Engagement and Empowerment:

Behavioral - attention, attendance, time on home learning, preparation for class, participation in class, concentration, participation in school-based activities, effort, persistence, adherence to classroom rules, taking risks and owning their own learning


Emotional - expressing interest and enjoyment, reporting fun and excitement, feeling safe, having supportive or positive relationships with teachers and peers, having family support for learning, expressing feelings of belonging, valuing school, persevering and having grit


Cognitive - meta-cognitive (knowledge of your own thoughts), motivational, and behavioral techniques a learner can use to manage and control learning processes, the use of strategies to learn, remember and understand material, and understanding the importance of schooling, setting goals and connecting learning to future aspirations


Innovative Mindset- learning to be empathetic, problem finders, risk-takers when it comes to learning, networked, observant, creators, resilient and reflective


Adapted from: (National Center for Student Engagement and the Institute of Education Services) & (George Couros)  


  • Increase learner engagement, empowerment and participation
  • Support school wide connections that foster positive relationships
  • Provide authentic and timely feedback, including teacher to student, student to student and colleague to colleague
  • Prepare students to be college, career and civics ready (ready for anything)
  • Foster independence, voice, choice, innovative mindset and to be goal oriented