What is The 20/20 Initiative?
In January 2010, Superintendent Randy Merrill proposed that Provo School District develop a plan that would drive education efforts in the District for the next decade. In his words, “…not only must the plan be inspirational and motivational, but it must also have substance.”
The intent is to create a plan that will deliver superior performance, have a distinctive impact and will achieve lasting endurance. Most importantly the desire to deliver exceptional results will be framed by two simple words:
The 20/20 Initiative is the first of its kind in the state of Utah. This is a forward-thinking approach that will enhance our school system, create the best learning environments and give students the best education absolutely possible.
We are absolutely and unequivocally dedicated to highly effective teaching with superior learning outcomes. We have high expectations for the adults who lead, support, and teach our students, as well as for student learning. We strive for excellence in all areas of our organization.
We believe the educational needs of children can best be met through a strong partnership with families. We welcome families into their children’s schools, and encourage and expect their full participation in the education of their children. In addition, we believe strong community partnerships strengthen our schools.
We believe all children have potential. We believe this potential is magnified when children and adults are treated with dignity and respect, are motivated by interest and engagement, and are given broad opportunities to develop their talents and gifts.
We cherish all children and will advocate for their inclusion in the full spectrum of educational and developmental opportunities.
Thinkers and Learners
We believe our increasingly complex future requires us to expect and encourage the development of individuals as thinkers, learners and problem solvers. This is essential to being part of the human conversation. Life-long learning is essential for all members of our educational community.
We believe literacy, the ability to effectively read, write and communicate in all content areas, is the gateway to critical thinking, reasoning, and problem solving, and therefore deserves our focused attention at every level of the district.
We believe a primary purpose of public education is to prepare students to govern themselves and contribute to the vitality of our community and nation. We hold this public trust sacred. We will model and cultivate integrity and reasoned discourse. We will expect mutual trust, respect, civility, and humility in our interactions.
Climate and Safety
We believe a school’s climate can have a powerful effect on the behavior and performance of teachers and students. Children learn and teachers teach best in a safe environment.
- We commit that every classroom has a highly effective teacher and that every school has a highly effective principal
in a safe climate. We commit to employ individuals whose highest priority is being of service to children.
- We will cultivate and reward excellence in all areas of our organization.
- We will focus on high quality academics at each level and will graduate students with the knowledge, skills, and
attitudes necessary to be successful in college or career, and society.
- We will actively engage parents in the education of their children.
- We will be deliberate in the education of disadvantaged students.
- We commit to personal responsibility, mutual respect,
cooperation, and civility.
- We will ensure opportunities and learning environments
that inspire a broad range of human potential, including
reasoning, creativity, innovation and life-long learning.
- We will ensure that students can read, write and think critically across the curriculum.
- We commit to efficiency, transparency, accountability and sustainability in our finances, general district operations and our facilities.
- Jane Carlile
Provo School District Parent
- Karen Brown
Provo School District Literacy Specialist
- Sterling Hilton
Brigham Young University Chair of the Education Leadership and Foundations Department
- Dave Shelton
Timpview High School Chemistry Teacher
- Kristine Manwaring
Provo School District Board of Education Member
- Gaye Gibbs
Westridge Elementary Principal
- Christian Faulconer
Provo School District Parent
- Mary Ann Christiansen
Provo School District Board of Education Member
- Kyle Reyes
Utah Valley University Assistant to the President
- Randy Merrill
Provo School District Superintendent
- Todd Manwaring
Group Facilitator, Brigham Young University, Ballard Center for Economic Self-Reliance
These key community members were chosen for the 20/20 Initiative Committee due to their reputation of being strong advocates for children and for having the ability to listen carefully and think deeply about the District’s educational future. Their commitment to long hours of work was based on their belief that they could make a difference and that there was an urgency to take action.
Recommendations For Action
Confirm highly effective principals and teachers through enhanced employment, training and evaluation procedures. (See Strategic Imperative 1)
- Develop a highly effective principal and teacher evaluation system, and implement an effective process for releasing or redeploying low performers when required.
- Design and implement a focused professional development plan that cultivates excellence.
- Implement an effective recruitment and selection process.
- Employ academic coaches to improve teacher/classroom performance.
From clear expectations for all staff at every level of the organization, reward exemplary performance. (See Strategic Imperatives 2 & 6)
- Develop a strategic comprehensive compensation plan.
- Implement a wide range of strategies to recognize organization and individual achievement.
Transform communication, customer service and relationship expectations with parents and community. (See Strategic Imperatives 4 & 6)
- Outline tactics that lead to high quality customer service and communication.
- Establish a district-wide compact with parents.
- Develop a broad-based Latino outreach initiative.
- Outline expectations (norms, code of conduct) and provide training that encourages respect, cooperation and civility.
Establish district-wide educational performance standards to ensure basic floor of opportunity for all students. (See Strategic Imperatives 3, 5 & 8)
- Institute 3rd grade reading commitment by providing the tools and resources to ensure each 3rd grade student can read on grade level.
- Implement district-wide standards for Professional Learning Communities (PLCs), Response to Intervention (RTI), extended-day (before/after-school) and extended-year (summer school) programs.
- Institute Tier II (perspective) intervention in literacy and numeracy directed to struggling students in every school, every day.
- Institute district-wide K-12 writing standards.
- Standardize essential learning outcomes and formative assessments; hold teachers and students accountable to these outcomes.
- Provide for high-quality instructional materials.
- Enhance school schedules to focus on essential learning outcomes and respond to performance data (elementary 50/25/25; high school daily classes).
Provide for continuous improvement in current proven programs. (See Strategic Imperatives 3 & 7)
- Enhance dual immersion, gifted, preschool and extended-day kindergarten programs.
- Support programs, particularly those in arts, science, and music that inspire/engage students and increase individual potential.
- Strengthen partnerships with higher education and the business community.
- Create a select committee on advancing science, math and technology instruction in the district.
Encourage programs and activities that encourage authentic learning experiences and critical thinking. (See Strategic Imperatives 7 & 8)
- Provide grants that support a variety of authentic (experimental) learning activities, i.e., science fair participation and educational field trips.
- Explore methods to measure student interest and engagement within the teacher evaluation process.
Improve general district operations. (See Strategic Imperatives 6 & 9)
- Finalize long-term financial plan, capital building plan and technology plan.
- Establish and implement facility cleaning and maintenance protocols.
- Reorganize busing to achieve high-level customer service and satisfaction.
- Improve efficiency and effectiveness in
- Enhance security district-wide.